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Bittar To Leave BHA Next Year

Tuesday, 5th August 2014

British Horseracing Authority (BHA) chief executive Paul Bittar will step down from his post at the end of his three-year term early in the new year, reports racingpost.com. Bittar and BHA chairman Steve Harman came to the decision by mutual consent and the BHA said that Bittar has a number of options he is considering for his next role. The Australian-born Bittar was appointed to the BHA role in September 2011. He had previously been chief strategy officer at Racing Victoria, and before that chief executive of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing. Bittar said: "I am proud of what BHA has achieved in the past few years and it will be with some sadness that I will leave early next year." Among the highlights of his tenure, Bittar seemed particularly proud of how the BHA handled the Al Zarooni drugs scandal. "Our primary role is the regulation of the sport, so arguably the greatest challenge the sport faced during this period followed the positive tests for anabolic steroids in horses trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni. The gravity of the case warranted swift and decisive action, and in years to come it may well be seen as the catalyst which led to a material change in how racing around the world deals with the threat posed by the use of anabolic steroids." He concluded: "Despite its obvious challenges and complexity of structures, British racing is a world class sport to be involved in and it has been a privilege to have held the post of chief executive of BHA as well as lead such a committed team. I love the quality and diversity of the racing staged in this country, I'll never tire of it and nowhere else can rival it in that regard." Bittar's successor is expected to be announced in the autumn.

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