The last-minute withdrawal of some of the best horses from Jamaica from the December 3 Caribbean National Racing Challenge raceday at Santa Rosa Park in Trinidad and Tobago has sparked off a firestorm of criticism about drug testing in local racing.

Eighteen local horses were nominated at various stages for the rich race meet that attracted entries from Jamaica, Barbados, and St Lucia, in addition to the Trinidadian runners.

Dr Paul Wright, owner’s representative for the three horses who will race in Trinidad and Tobago, said steroids use is rampant at Caymanas Park.