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Questions Arise About Steroids Use by British Thoroughbred Champion

After The Clock By on May 3, 2013 -

Questions Arise About Steroids Use by British Thoroughbred Champion

The horse racing scandal that has hit Britain has raised questions about the use of steroids during the training of Black Caviar, the illustrious retired thoroughbred. The world champion horse that won at the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2012 was raised in Australia where steroids are legal. Calls to the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) to release documentation that could show whether Black Caviar used anabolic steroids during training were rejected by the authority.

Questions Arise About Steroids Use by British Thoroughbred Champion

Black Caviar under scrutiny over alleged use of steroids

Britain does not allow the use of steroids in horse training. While Australia allows the use of anabolic steroids in the training of horses, the steroids must not be present in the horse on race day. Horses that are run in Britain must provide documentation to the BHA whether a horse has never used steroids. The horses that run must undergo routine testing for steroids prior to a race.

The BHA responded to the Guardian through Will Lambe, its head of external affairs, who indicated that the authority will not release information about the prior condition of Black Caviar leading up to the Royal Ascot race. All that Lambe would share was that if a horse had tested positive for anabolic steroids, they would not have been allowed to enter into the race. No evidence has been shown that any horses that were trained outside of Britain that participated in any competition have benefitted from the use of anabolic steroids. He said that the BHA does not provide specific information on their dope-testing programme or give details on specific cases. If a matter required a disciplinary hearing, then more information may be provided at that time.

The issue of Black Caviar’s use of anabolic steroids was raised by Roger Charlton via Twitter. Charlton, a British trainer, had concerns about the undefeated champion’s close victory. His tweet was just one of many that had erupted in the press and was spurred on by many via social media. Much of it went back to the revelation that eleven thoroughbred horses that were trained by Godolphin Racing’s Mahmood Al Zarooni at Newmarket had tested positive for anabolic steroids. The admittance by Al Zarooni, who stated that he didn’t realize the use of anabolic steroids in Britain was not allowed, has rocked the racing world. Al Zarooni has been disqualified from racing in Britain until 2021.

Black Caviar had been thought to be injured from reports that were made at the time of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. The Australian mare won the race by a very slim margin and the margin was the narrowest of her acclaimed career. Black Caviar’s trainer, Peter Moody, has been emphatic in his denial of the rumours that the horse used steroids. He stated that although a horse can acquire bulk from steroids use, Black Caviar’s bulk is natural and she has been that way from birth. Black Caviar underwent testing within 24 hours of her arrival in Britain. She was also tested again three days before her triumphant victory at Ascot.

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