03/23/2016 11:46AM

Sale companies rescind ‘45-day' steroid rule


Officials from Keeneland, Fasig-Tipton, and the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. jointly announced an amendment to their anabolic androgenic steroid policies, removing time thresholds from the right to rescind purchase due to a positive test.

The new language removes the “45-day rule” regarding the use of steroids in pre-racing-age horses from the conditions of sale. Under the previous guideline, consignors warranted that any weanling, yearling, or 2-year-old entered for auction had not been administered any anabolic steroids within 45 days prior to the sale, subject to testing as requested by the buyer.

Depending on the breed, drug, and methods of administration and testing, different anabolic steroids can be present in a horse’s bloodstream for 30 to 82 days, according to the U.S. Equestrian Federation.

The remaining language of the condition remains unchanged. Buyers may check a box on the sales ticket requesting a blood sample be tested for steroids at the time of purchase for a $500 fee. If the horse tests positive, the buyer has the right to rescind the sale within 24 hours of notification, and the testing fee is shifted to the consignor.

Testing will be coordinated by the respective sale companies with a designated laboratory, and results will be reported to both the consignor and the buyer. The new policy takes effect July 1.

“This is an integrity issue,” said Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell, Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning, and OBS president Tom Ventura in a joint statement. “We all agree this amendment is a necessary change to strengthen buyer confidence and to safeguard the credibility of the entire Thoroughbred auction process. We are adapting our policy to reflect the developing testing science currently available to us.”