Wanless disqualified for 12 months

07:06 AM 16 Jan 2014 NZDT
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James Wanless
James Wanless

Racing Queensland stewards today inquired into the circumstances surrounding the analysts’ findings in respect to a pre-race blood sample taken from ELVIS NZ prior to it competing in race 4 at Albion Park on the 28th December 2013.

The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre reported a level of Total Carbon Dioxide (TC02) in the blood sample in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Rules of Racing.

Evidence was provided by the trainer Mr. James Wanless, who provided an explanation for the elevated reading.

After consideration, Mr. James Wanless was charged pursuant to rule 190(1) which reads:

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

The particulars of the charge being that trainer Mr. James Wanless did present ELVIS NZ to the Albion Park Raceway on the 28th December 2013 for the purpose of engaging in a race, when a pre-race blood sample taken from this horse was found, upon analysis, to contain a prohibited substance, namely alkalinising agents as evidenced by total carbon dioxide present at the concentration above the threshold.

Mr. James Wanless pleaded guilty to the charge.

When assessing the matter of penalty, stewards took into account:

  • The nature of the substance concerned
  • The circumstances of the case
  • Mr. Wanless’s previous convictions under this rule
  • 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.

Mr. James Wanless was disqualified for 12 months.

Stewards directed under Rule 195 that ELVIS NZ be disqualified from its 3rd placing at Albion Park on the 28th of December 2013 and that all other placing’s be amended accordingly.

Mr. James Wanless was advised of his rights of appeal.

Racing Queensland

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