The horseracing authority for the northern Japanese province of Iwate was reportedly forced to suspend all contests for one day last week after several of the competing animals tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid.

Horses tested positive for boldenone:

According to a report from Asia Gaming Brief, the Iwate Prefectural Horse Racing Association first detected the substance known as boldenone via tests on animals at the Morioka Racecourse before a second positive result was seen the same day some 48 miles away at Mizusawa Racecourse.

Second such incident this year:

This was reportedly the second time this year that banned steroids have been detected in horseracing in Japan following a similar breach in July but the first such incident to lead to the cancellation of contests.

Authority to conduct re-tests:

In response, the Iwate Prefectural Horse Racing Association issued a statement detailing that it will be conducting new tests on every one of the 733 horses held by its members while vowing that only those that have tested negative will be allowed to compete in the future. It moreover explained that it intends to initiate an independent third-party investigation in order to discover the causes of the most recent infractions, which are thought to have cost the industry some $277,000 in lost revenues, and institute procedures to prevent any re-occurrence.

A statement from the Iwate Prefectural Horse Racing Association read…

“We recognize that this is an extremely serious matter; not only for our association but also for the Japanese horseracing world overall. It could lead to a loss of credibility, greatly disturbing our fans nationwide and other horseracing stakeholders. We deeply apologize.”