Industry Notice- Altrenogest Update

09 April 2024
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In 2018, Australian harness racing participants were advised to cease using products containing Altrenogest after a number of horses returned positive swabs to the banned androgenic anabolic steroids Trendione and Trenbolone whilst being administered products containing Altrenogest such as ReguMate, OvuMate, ReadyServe etc…

Commercial products containing Altrenogest are used for oestrus suppression in fillies and mares and can contain traces of Trenbolone and/or Trendione.  Trenbolone and Trendione are androgenic anabolic steroids and are classed as permanently banned substances under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR’s).

 When these androgenic anabolic steroids are detected in sample taken at any time from a horse, they are regarded as permanently banned prohibited substances regardless of how or why they came to be present, and such horses are therefore subject to the AHRR provisions relating to androgenic anabolic steroids, which include that those horses are not permitted to start in a race (or trial), OR be used for the purposes of breeding for a 12-month period from the date of the collected sample. The trainer may also be subject to offences and penalties under the AHRR’s relating to anabolic steroids.

Recognising the widespread use of Altrenogest in the industry, Harness Racing Australia (HRA) is a partner in the Maintaining Welfare and Integrity in Australian Racing (research) Project, which investigates the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (pharmacokinetics) of a range of important therapeutic drugs, with Altrenogest amongst them.

The Altrenogest research, led by Dr Glenys Noble from Charles Sturt University (CSU) in collaboration with racing forensic laboratories, racing codes and AgriFutures, was wide ranging, examining both the oral and injectable forms of the product, plus topical administration routes.

The research showed that there was always the possibility of trendione, epitrenbolone or trenbolone being detected when using products containing Altrenogest.

HRA consequently recommends against using any products containing Altrenogest, including injectable or compounded oral Altrenogest products.

Should a trainer elect to use Altrenogest products in racing horses, they do so at their own risk.  Trainers are also reminded of the requirement for all treatments to be recorded in their medication logbooks by midnight on the day on which the treatment was given.

The research also found Altrenogest to be easily absorbed topically, illustrating a need for humans to handle and administer Altrenogest related products with extreme care given the potential to contaminate other horses, and even themselves.

If you have any queries, or would like further information regarding this matter, please contact Stewards in your State.

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