The fight against doping in horse racing is an “absolute priority”, says International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) chairman Louis Romanet.
Speaking at the IFHA’s 47th Annual International Conference in Paris, France, earlier this month, Romanet congratulated the Australian Racing Board and New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing for their total ban on anabolic steroids in training and racing.
“We must eradicate it in all Graded and Black Type races which are the races that make the breed worldwide.
“I am also delighted by the progress made in South America where Lasix is now prohibited in all Grade 1 and 2 races and totally prohibited in all Graded and Black Type races in a country like Brazil.”
But he said progress had been mixed in the US.
“In USA, the Breeders’ Cup had taken a leadership decision to prohibit Anabolic Steroids in all its races from 2008 onwards. It was followed by the ban on Lasix in its 2 y.o. races in 2012 with a total ban planned in 2013, but unfortunately the Breeders’ Cup has been reversing its policy on Lasix for 2014.”
However, progress was hopeful as Breeders’ Cup Chairman Bill Farish recently declared “we are hoping to convince horsemen of the long term vision of running medication free”, Romanet said.
“Also, last year, Jim Gagliano told us that the Jockey Club core belief was that horses should compete only when they are free from the influence of medication.”
The IFHA’s annual international conference brought together representatives from 51 countries.
Video replay and presentations from the conference are available at ifhaonline.org.