Day At The Track

Disqualified three years - Cobalt & Dexamethasone

07:26 PM 11 Oct 2016 NZDT
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Disqualified
Disqualified

Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards today concluded an inquiry which was opened and adjourned on 29 September 2016 into the circumstances surrounding the analysts’ findings in respect to a post race urine sample taken from Oozinville following its winning harness racing performance in Race 7 at Redcliffe on 11 May 2016.

The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) reported a level of Cobalt in the sample in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Racing Rules and also the presence of the prohibited substance Dexamethasone.

Stewards also concluded their investigations into the pre race urine sample taken from Ashleys Angel prior to it competing at Redcliffe on 26 May 2016, and a pre race urine taken from Zac Mac (NZ) prior to it competing at Albion Park on 4 June 2016. The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) reported a level of Cobalt in both samples in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Racing Rules.

On 6 October 2016, Stewards issued charges against Mr Darren Hooper as follows:

Charge 1 – Rule 190(1)

           “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances”

The particulars of the charge being that Mr Hooper presented Oozinville to race in Race 7 at Redcliffe on 11 May 2016 when a sample taken from that gelding was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Cobalt above the prescribed threshold and also the prohibited substance Dexamethasone.

Charge 2 – Rule 190(1)

“A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances”

The particulars of the charge being that Mr Hooper presented Ashleys Angel in Race 1 at Redcliffe on 26 May 2016 when a sample taken from that mare was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Cobalt above the prescribed threshold.

Charge 3 – Rule 190(1)

“A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances”

The particulars of the charge being that Mr Hooper presented Zac Mac NZ in Race 3 at Albion Park on 4 June 2016 when a pre race urine sample taken from that gelding was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Cobalt above the prescribed threshold.

After due consideration Stewards were of the view that all charges could be sustained as issued and formally found Mr Hooper guilty.

When assessing the matter of penalty Stewards gave consideration to the following:

  • The serious nature of the substance concerned and the levels of Cobalt recorded (339Ug/l, 475Ug/l, and 584 Ug/l);

  • Mr Hooper’s licence history and previous offence under this rule;

  • Mr Hooper’s personal and financial situation;

  • The particular circumstances of the case;

  • The need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of harness racing;

  • Penalty precedents.

    Charge 1

    Mr Hooper was disqualified for a period of 12 months effective immediately.

    Charge 2

    Mr Hooper was disqualified for a period of 12 months effective immediately.

    Charge 3

    Mr Hooper was disqualified for a period of 12 months effective immediately.

    Stewards directed that all three periods of disqualification be served cumulatively.

    Acting under Australian Harness Racing Rule 195 Oozinville was disqualified from its win in Race 7 at Redcliffe on 11 May 2016, Ashleys Angel was disqualified from its performance at Redcliffe on 26 May 2016, and Zac Mac NZ was disqualified from its winning performance at Albion Park on 4 June 2016 with all other placegetters to be amended accordingly.

    Mr Hooper was advised of his rights to internal review.

    Inquiry: Darren Hooper -  Panel: D Farquharson, N Torpey, P Gillard

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