Trainers told to stop using Regumate by BHA after anabolic steroid detection
Trainers have been ordered by the BHA to stop administering a previously permitted product after it was found to contain traces of an anabolic steroid.
Altrenogest – commonly referred to as Regumate – is used by trainers and other industry figures to control the fertility cycle of female horses. However, reports from Australia that trace levels of anabolic steroids had been detected in products containing altrenogest prompted the BHA to order tests.
Those tests have returned positive, leading to orders that the product be removed from all licensed premises.
Brant Dunshea, BHA chief regulatory officer, said on Friday: "Following news from Australia that samples of altrenogest – in the form of the 'Regumate Equine' product – were found to contain trace levels of the anabolic steroids trenbolone and/or trendione, we informed British-based trainers to be cautious if using the product in racing thoroughbreds and that the BHA was undertaking further work to gain an understanding of the implications of this issue within Europe.
"Subsequent to sending samples from several different batches of Regumate to the BHA’s analytical laboratory at LGC, the results of this analysis also detected trendione in the European-sourced batches of Regumate.
"Anabolic steroids are prohibited at all times in British racing. As a consequence, British trainers have been informed to remove Regumate from all licensed premises and not to administer this product."
Dunshea said it had yet to be determined whether this was a new problem, but the product is not widely used in Britain compared to Australia.
He added: "We do not know at present whether this is a new issue or one that has always been present with the Regumate product used in Europe. Further work is ongoing to gain a greater understanding of this issue.
"However, owing to the fact that the BHA-published detection time for altrenogest is 12 days – compared to a 24-hour withdrawal from racing period recommended in Australia – our understanding is that altrenogest is not widely used in Britain compared to the southern hemisphere.
"In recent years we have seen no evidence of the presence of anabolic steroids linked to the use of Regumate from around 9,000 samples taken each year, both in and out of competition."
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