The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has advised trainers to suspend use of the popular medication Regumate Equine after analysis showed it contained traces of a banned steroid.
The BHA said the anabolic steroid had been identified in samples from several different batch numbers of Regumate Equine 2.2mg/ml Oral Solution for Horses, which is manufactured by MSD Animal Health.
The organisation was prompted to send samples of the European version of the medication for analysis after tests of Regumate in Australia showed the presence of the prohibited substance.
The BHA’s samples, tested at LGC laboratories, were also shown to contain trenidone, a “prohibited at all times” substance under schedule G of the Rules of Racing.
Following the findings, the BHA said in a statement that it would advise that the “possession, use or attempted use, and administration or attempted administration of Regumate Equine” could amount to a breach of the Rules.
“As such, at this time, we would advise trainers and other industry participants to remove Regumate Equine from all licensed premises, and not to administer this product,” the statement said.
“Trainers are encouraged to discuss alternative treatments with their veterinary surgeons in the first instance.”
The BHA added that further information would be provided to the industry when it became available.
Regumate, which contains the synthetic progesterone altrenogest, is a medication broadly used in performance mares to suppress their oestrus cycle and associated “mareish” behaviour. It has been permitted for use in mares by the FEI since 2003.
The BHA’s warning has left competitors in other disciplines questioning whether they could be leaving themselves vulnerable to sanctions if they continue to use the product.
Although trenidone is not individually mentioned on the FEI’s 2018 list of banned substances, trenbolone, which was found in Australian samples of Regumate, is.
H&H has approached the FEI, who said they were looking into the issue.
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In a statement, MSD Animal Health said they would be investigating thoroughly and moved to reassure customers about the product.
“Nothing is more important to MSD Animal Health than the safety and efficacy of our products, and the health and well-being of animals,” the statement said.
“All batches of Regumate are assessed by quality control to ensure that they are within the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) specifications before they are released. We are confident in the quality and safety of the product and are currently liaising with the BHA to gather further information.”
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