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US sales companies insist yearlings are clean

KEENELAND and Fasig-Tipton have stressed that no yearling sold at either company has tested positive for anabolic steroids since screening procedures were implemented in 2008 - yet both allow their use up to 45 days before the sale, which if detected would result in the horse being banned from racing in Britain for 14 months.

Speaking on Tuesday, Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning said: "Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton were the first to initiate testing for anabolic steroids and the first to fund extensive research to determine threshold levels for androgenous anabolic steroids.

"Thousands of yearlings have been sold since the inception of this policy, and there has not been a single positive test for anabolic steroids."

Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton, founding members of the Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association, both state in their conditions of sale that the use of exogenous anabolic steroids is not permitted within 45 days of the sale date.

However, two of the most commonly used steroids, stanozolol and ethylestrenol, are reported to be undetectable a month after administration.

The use of hair sampling could prove a powerful tool in the detection of previous steroid use, but speaking last week BHA chief executive Paul Bittar said the new regulations do not yet include hair testing in their armoury.

"We're not yet confident we can use it for prosecution purposes," said Bittar, adding that the BHA would aim to enable samples taken at US sales to be tested either at the Horseracing Forensic Laboratory in Newmarket, or an approved lab in the US. The current test takes ten days to complete.




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