(Edited press release)
Officials from Keeneland Association and Fasig-Tipton Friday jointly announced their support for development of a policy regarding the testing for, and inappropriate use of, anabolic steroids in horses sold at public auction in Kentucky.
“We both agree that the use of anabolic steroids in sale horses is an issue that needs to be addressed for the betterment of the entire Thoroughbred industry," said Keeneland president and chief executive officer Nick Nicholson and Fasig-Tipton president Walt Robertson in a joint statement. "This is a concern that impacts each and every one of us, and one that requires the scientific expertise of veterinary professionals.”
Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton have formed a committee – which includes representatives from the two sales companies, the Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association (CBA), leading authorities on steroids and drug testing, and local veterinary practitioners – to establish a standardized policy for all sale horses that will address testing procedures and guidelines for appropriate use.
The project has been endorsed by Dr. Stuart Brown, Dr. Scott Pierce, and Dr. Craig Van Balen, who expressed their willingness to serve on the committee.
“We are anxious to tackle this issue, not only for the health of our industry but for the health of the horse,” said the veterinarians in a joint statement. “We are confident that we can accomplish a policy that is both effective and practical for buyers and sellers alike.”
Anabolic steroids, which are federally controlled substances classified for therapeutic use in racing and sales horses in the United States, have been under recent review by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton are the first national auction houses to call for a policy regarding sale horses.
“The development of a policy is critical to promoting a sense of fairness and credibility among buyers, sellers and racing fans,” said Bayne Welker, president and chairman of the board of the CBA. “We look forward to working with Keeneland, Fasig-Tipton, and the team of veterinarians on this important issue.”