California Bans Steroids
The announcement that the California Horse Racing Board had come to a unanimous decision to ban anabolic steroid use did not surprise many, and horse racing insiders have said that it was only a matter of time. With such a bold move by the California Horse Racing Board and pressure being put on other states, it is felt that steroid use in horse racing might be completely banned in all states by the end of the year. Their decision is awaiting approval from the Office of Administrative Law, but the board is confident that their new regulation will be in effect within about two months time.
Over a year ago, the California Horse Racing Board started to implement steroid regulation procedures, which were seen as the first steps toward a total ban. Stricter guidelines, procedures for testing for drugs and penalties were instituted to control the use of various steroids and medications, but now, the final step has been taken and steroids such as nandrolone, testosterone, stanozolol and boldenone have been upgraded to anabolic steroids which will be viewed as a violation and will lead to immediate disqualification and suspension, and horses tested positive for the drugs will have to forfeit their purse money as well.
The ban on steroids has come just in time to be approved before the running of the 2008 Breeders’ Cup World Championship, which is to be held in Arcadia at the Santa Anita Racecourse on the 24th and 25th of October. It will be the first time that the Breeders’ Cup World Championship is held in a drug-free environment, and fortunately, officials will have enough time to ensure that trainers and owners are notified of the steroid ban and let them know that if they want to partake in this prestigious racing event, they will have to comply to the new anabolic steroids regulations.
Richard Shapiro, the chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, was quoted saying: “We are one of the leading states to move forward with this ban. There is no place for anabolic steroids in competition sports, human or equine.” And many agree with his views, in light of the horse racing industry being determined to find solutions to make racing safer for the racehorses and improving their breeding, health and welfare. The ban on steroids by the California Horse Racing Board is a welcome change that will hopefully be followed by other racing states, before the end of the year.