A number of changes to equine anti-doping rules were unveiled by the British Horseracing Authority on Wednesday that will take effect from September 1.
The changes stem from a review of the sport’s anti-doping rules following a number of disciplinary panel cases, which called into question assumptions that had been made regarding the rules and how they should be applied.
The main change to the rules relates to the circumstances in which the responsible person may be found in breach of the rules but not be penalised when a case is heard by the independent disciplinary panel.
If a horse tests positive for a prohibited substance, in order to avoid a penalty, the responsible person must establish the precise source of the positive finding and that they themselves had taken all reasonable precautions.
Cautions will be available for lower level breaches and suspended sanctions will now be in place for breaches.
Tim Naylor, Director of Integrity and Regulation at the BHA, said: “The culmination of this project has followed consultation with the appropriate parties as well as legal advice in relation to the rule changes, and it is our hope that we now have a set of equine anti-doping rules which are clear both for those who enforce them and those who are bound by them.
“We have to ensure that our rules in relation to anti-doping are sufficiently robust, but also that as much as is possible in such a technical area everyone bound by the rules understands what is required of them.
“Whilst in places the requirements upon the responsible person have been strengthened, there have also been changes to allow more appropriate penalties for lower and mid-level breaches of the rules.
“We have communicated these changes now ahead of their implementation date next month to allow sufficient time for participants to ask any questions they may have prior to the rules taking effect.”
Coleman out until October
Top jump jockey Aidan Coleman will be on the sidelines until October after fracturing his humerus in a fall at Southwell last week.
In a post on his website, Coleman said: “I’ve had plenty of contact with BHA doctor Jerry Hill and my specialist Geoff Graham, who have both been amazing, and after my scan they have told me to expect a ten to 12-week break before I can go back racing.
“It’s obviously not ideal with the season starting off so well with some good early momentum following the coronavirus lockdown, but injuries are part of the job and every jockey has been there before.
“I’m looking forward to getting to Oaksey House in Lambourn as soon as possible to start my rehabilitation and I’m then looking forward to returning in October.”
Leopardstown’s Flat fixture today features two Group 3 contests, the 7f Silver Flash Stakes for two-year-old fillies and the 7f Tyros Stakes for juveniles.
No Speak Alexander impressed at Roscommon last month when she was a six and a half length winner of a 7f maiden. She is a daughter of Al Shaqab’s exciting young sire Shalaa and could become his first stakes winner if she is successful today.
The Tyros Stakes features a field of 11 including the Donnacha O’Brien-trained Southern Cape, a Galileo colt out of crack sprinter Tiggy Wiggy, and the Ger Lyons-trained Masen, who got the better of Tyros Stakes contender Charterhouse on debut.
There are also Flat meetings from Bath and Ripon today while there is a jumps meeting at Stratford.