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UK Execs React To ARB Steroid Ban
The announcement by the Australian Racing Board (ARB) to impose a total steroids ban has taken Britain's governing body by surprise, reports theguardian.com. The CEO of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), Paul Bittar, says that the regulator will investigate whether it will follow Australia's lead and introduce a blanket ban on the use of anabolic steroids in horses both in and out of competition. "It's a very positive move and a significant move for Australian racing given their current and previous position," Bittar said. "I was hopeful that it [the Zarooni scandal] could bring about some movement towards harmonisation but I wasn't expecting Australia to go that far, that quickly." Australian racing is more localised than its British counterpart, with its major tracks centred in Sydney and Melbourne. As a result, a blanket ban on steroids should prove more straightforward to implement than a comparable ban in Britain where stables are scattered across the country and the BHA can regulate only licensed training premises. "It's a bit of an unknown for us and something that we will work through," continued Bittar. "The question is: can you regulate it? What I wouldn't want to do is put something in the rules that we then weren't able to regulate."