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Trainers issued warning about use of drug which may contain steroids

The Guardian logo The Guardian 10/09/2018 Chris Cook
Luke Nolen rides Black Caviar, right, to success at Royal Ascot in 2012. © Getty Images Luke Nolen rides Black Caviar, right, to success at Royal Ascot in 2012.

Trainers in Britain are to be warned about their use of the product Regu-Mate, following tests in Australia which suggest it may contain anabolic steroids. Regu-Mate is used in many countries to control the fertility cycle of female competition horses and has been popular for years without causing problems but one racing jurisdiction in Australia is now urging trainers to use other drugs after horses there returned positive tests for trenbolone and trendione.

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“We will be putting out an advisory note to caution trainers about this issue,” said Brant Dunshea, chief regulatory officer at the British Horseracing Authority. “There’s no evidence at all, not even from screening results, of there being an issue with the product that is sourced in this country but we want to understand more.”

It is understood that the Australasian and European versions of Regu-Mate may contain ingredients from different sources, which are subjected to different preparation processes, either of which might account for the two products giving different results to drug tests. Nevertheless, the news is bound to give rise to anxiety among trainers about the possibility of their runners failing tests.

The problems discovered in Australia have only come to light in recent weeks. The version of Regu-Mate available in Britain is to be subjected to a series of lab tests at the BHA’s instigation.

Peter Moody, who trained the famed Australian sprinter Black Caviar, said on Monday that she had “lived” on Regu-Mate. He suggested its anabolic steroid contents may have contributed to the success of fillies and mares in Australia over the last 20 years. “All of my better mares were on it,” he added.


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