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Hong Kong Jockey Club chief backs steroids ban

BANNING anabolic steroids from horseracing is fundamental to the sport's growth, according to one leading official.

Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, chief executive officer of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, on Friday backed comments made in Paris this week by International Federation of Horseracing Authorities chairman Louis Romanet who said "anabolic steroids have no place in racing and should not be permitted in and out of competition".

Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges

Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges: chief executive officer of the Hong Kong Jockey Club


Complete harmonisation of rules on steroids - particularly their off-track use - in all jurisdictions is unlikely, although the BHA is seeking a three-month stand-down period for horses who have been treated.

Engelbrecht-Bresges, who is also vice chairman of the IFHA, said horseracing's credibility with the wider public is at risk if it does not employ a "zero-tolerance policy" when it comes to the use of anabolic steroids.

"The removal of anabolic steroids in horseracing across the world is key to the continued international growth of the sport at the highest level," he said.

"I hope that this confirmation of the IFHA's position is a further step on the road towards full harmonisation on this issue across the world."

The use of steroids has been the subject of much controversy and discussion since the BHA handed an eight-year suspension to former Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni in the spring.

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