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Zilpaterol feed contamination: BEF acts to protect riders from doping penalties

British Equestrian has announced an immediate 14-day relaxation of the anti-doping rules for competing horses who may be affected by the zilpaterol feed contamination.

Following the news yesterday (23 October) that feed companies Allen & Page, Baileys Horse Feeds, Hilight Horse Feeds, Honeychop Horse Feeds, Saracen Horse Feeds, and Spillers, Winergy and Pegasus, had confirmed that some of their products had been affected by contamination with the banned substance, British Equestrian (BEF) today (23 October) stated it had worked on a “proactive solution”, which should help all parties caught up in this “unfortunate situation”.

“With immediate effect the BEF board has introduced a 14-day moratorium, during which time any horse that returns a positive result for zilpaterol through testing at an event will not be subject to any regulatory action under the BEF’s anti-doping rules (known as BEFAR), provided the positive sample is consistent with the feed being contaminated with zilpaterol,” it read.

“This moratorium period will be kept under constant review and may be extended depending upon updated information relating to the contamination.”

The statement added that the moratorium covers horses competing under national rules of any BEF member bodies, who are signed up to BEFAR. Horses who are competing in international shows are still subject to the rules and testing requirements of the FEI, and will not be covered under the moratorium for any such shows.

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BEF interim chief executive Iain Graham said this is a situation where “reason and logic” are required.

“We’re grateful to the BEF board and BEFAR technical committee for facilitating this moratorium. The British Equestrian Trade Association and some UK feed brands have worked extensively to provide the facts which were a vital part in the process,” he said.

“We hope this will put riders’ minds at rest and give time for the feed companies to work with their clients towards eliminating any contaminated feed from the supply chain. My thanks to all concerned.”

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