Horse trainer Rick Dutrow made national headlines when the three-year old colt named Big Brown convincingly won the 2008 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Based on Big Brown’s dominance, it was widely expected that the colt would be the next Triple Crown winner. But the specter of steroids reared its ugly head as it was reported that Dutrow administered anabolic steroids to Big Brown. [Read more…]
The New York Times recently [Read more…]that the use of anabolic steroids is banned in horse-racing. The Times article leads readers to believe that anabolic steroids are no longer used in horses – at all. This is highly misleading since the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has actually approved the therapeutic use of four anabolic steroids in equine athletes.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) essentially has a zero tolerance policy for the use of anabolic steroids in human athletes. An athlete could theoretically apply for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) and receive permission to use anabolic steroids since several steroids have legitimate medical uses. However, it is unclear how often WADA grants such TUEs. Equine athletes have it much easier than their human counterparts when it comes to the freedom to use anabolic steroids.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has approved the therapeutic use of four anabolic steroids in equine athletes. The therapeutic use of stanozolol (Winstrol), boldenone (Equipoise), nandrolone (Deca Durabolin) and testosterone are permitted for racehorses in many states that sanction horseracing as long as they are discontinued within a certain window prior to competition and test below a certain threshold level during in-competition testing. [Read more…]