New national rules for substance thresholds effective from July 1

A NEW set of national greyhound racing rules will come into force from July 1, 2016, which concern thresholds for testosterone in male greyhounds and arsenic in all greyhounds.

As of next month, Greyhounds Australasia Rule (GAR) 32 (12) will come into effect, with a testosterone reading in male greyhounds, evidenced by the urinary metabolite 5β-androstane-3α, 17β-diol, at a concentration of above 100 nanograms per millilitre, set to be a breach of the greyhound racing rules.

The new threshold will allow for normal variation among male racing greyhounds and includes a significant margin of safety. The existing threshold for female greyhound, 10 nanograms per millilitre, remains unchanged under GAR 83 (6).

Participants have been reminded that Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (i.e Testoprop) Gonadotropins (eg Chorulon) and Gonadotropin Releasing Hormones (eg Fertagyl) remain permanently banned substances.

Under GAR 79A participants are not allowed to procure, possess or administer any of the aforementioned substances, with each leading to an increase in the testosterone levels reading and a potential breach of the thresholds.

The new rules regarding the thresholds for testosterone are particularly important following the announcement that hair testing to test for anabolic androgenic steroid administration will also begin on July 1.

A new threshold will also be introduced for Arsenic, with a reading at a mass concentration above 800 nanograms per millilitre in a urine sample set to be a breach of GAR 83 (11).

Subsequently, trainers have been advised to exercise caution when administering products which contain arsenic close to racing as it may inadvertently lead to a rise in the urinary arsenic levels.

Compliance with GAR 83A Raceday Treatment, which prohibits any treatment to a greyhound on the day of a race without permission of the stewards, will minimise the risk of inadvertently exceeding the threshold, however a greater withholding period is required for some substances, particularly those which are injectable products.

The new threshold rules will be enforced by the state controlling bodies through all available means such as kennel inspections, inspectional of medications and treatment records, out of competition testing as well as routine race day sampling.

In addition to the rules relating to the new thresholds, Greyhounds Australasia have also amended the definition of ‘presented’ in GAR 1. From July 1, a greyhound will be officially deemed to be presented from the appointed scratching time for an event until it is removed from the track after the completion of the event or is scratched with the permission of the stewards.