It is therefore an advance that the British Horseracing Authority this week announced a zero-tolerance policy on anabolic steroids, though I have noticed plenty of comment that a ban of a year or 14 months, from training and racing respectively, is far from what the public would understand to be zero-tolerance. The policy is to be replicated by the four major current European racing authorities in Ireland, France, Britain and Germany and will come into effect on January 1st next.

While these policies are above the minimum standards set out by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, there is probably still a road to travel if we are to rid the sport of this curse for once and for all. It is also going to be necessary for all the global racing authorities to come onboard and adopt the same criteria in each jurisdiction.