Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) stewards yesterday (Tuesday) opened and adjourned an inquiry into the presence of the synthetic form of erythropoietin (EPO), darbepoetin alfa, in three blood samples taken from the pacer Em Maguane.
Evidence was presented by Mr Andy Rogers, HRV investigative steward; Dr John Vine, Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) director; Dr Mike Ashenden, head of the research consortium Science & Industry Against Blood doping (SIAB); and Dr Richard Cust, HRV veterinary consultant.
Evidence was taken from Mr Jeremy Quinlan, the trainer of Em Maguane at the time of collection; Mr Sean Triplett, manager of the Royal Flush Syndicate who own the pacer; Mr Paul Sequenzia, member of the Royal Flush Syndicate; Mr Gary Sargent, member of the Royal Flush Syndicate at the time of collection; Mr Bill Galea, licensed HRV trainer and owner of the property where the horse was domiciled; and Dr Adam Matthews, veterinary surgeon.
The inquiry was adjourned until 11am this Friday, September 11 at the HRV offices where further evidence will be taken from Mr Larry Grantham, member of the Royal Flush Syndicate and HRV licensed stablehand, who was overseas and unable to attend today.
Darbepoetin alfa is a prohibited substance both in and out of competition as defined by Australian Rule of Harness Racing 190A (1)&(2).
Following initial detection by RASL, the presence of the prohibited substance was confirmed in the three samples from Em Maguane by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Laboratory and the HFL Sports Science Laboratory in the United Kingdom.
The confirmed samples were taken from Em Maguane as follows;
May 19, 2009-Out of competition
May 22, 2009-Prior to the running of the Vicbred Super Series Final
(Group 1) at Moonee Valley where the horse placed third
June 5, 2009-Prior to the running of the Victorian 4YO & 5YO Championship
(Group 2) at Moonee Valley where the horse placed fourth