Tox Tuesday: Stanozolol

Vet_syringe_blogHumans aren’t the only ones with rules governing drug use – racehorses also must abide by certain regulations.

Stanozolol is only one of the anabolic steroids regulated across the horse racing industry. It is used to enhance muscle strength as well as increase appetite and weight gain. The drug is listed as a class 3 drug by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI), which means it “may or may not have a generally accepted medical use in the racing horse” with less potential than drugs in class 2 to affect the horse’s performance. A range of drugs fall into this category, including anabolic steroids, antihistamines and bronchodilators. Penalties for trainers and owners whose horses test positive for stanozolol include fines and suspensions.

Rules surrounding the doping of racehorses are getting tougher – next month, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has said it will implement stricter rules that allow trainers to face doping sanctions even without a positive test sample from the animal in question. The changes come after an investigation into a veterinary product that contained stanozolol; however, in that case, BHA officials were concerned that although there was evidence the drug was administered, a lack of positive tests prevented charges from being brought.

In September, the Racing Medication & Testing Consortium (RMTC) recommended stanozolol be removed from the list of substances with a RMTC-recommended threshold, meaning no amount of the drug could be present in the horse on race day. Previously, stanozolol could be administered up to 30 days before race day. The change will be presented to ARCI for potential adoption.

Humans also can use stanozolol – in fact, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently announced it will begin retroactive testing of frozen urine samples from past Olympians following a rash of stanozolol-positive tests recently.

For information on Neogen’s animal sport toxicology solutions, click here.

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