HRV Stewards have issued a number of charges against licensed person Mr Anthony Llewellyn under the Australian Rules of Harness Racing. These charges relate to a post-race urine sample taken from Land Of Panaarm on 25 September 2015 at the Melton harness racing meeting, which is alleged to contain the prohibited substance amphetamine and 4-hydroxyamphetamine. The remaining charges involve alleged matters relating to the conduct of Mr Llewellyn during the investigation. The charges will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. HRV STEWARDS
Panel: D Farquharson, K Wolsey, D Aurisch Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards today concluded an inquiry into a report from the Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) that a blood sample taken from SHADOW SON at Albion Park on 26 February 2016 prior to it competing in Race 8, returned an elevated total plasma carbon dioxide (TCO2) concentration of 36.9 mmol/L on initial testing and 37.0 mmol/L on confirmatory analysis. Evidence was today taken from licensed trainer Mr Paul Matis who explained his feeding and husbandry practices leading up to the race in question. Evidence was also provided by Dr Karen Caldwell and Samantha Nelis, (RSC). After considering all the available evidence Stewards issued Mr Matis with a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 193 (3) which reads: “A person shall not administer or allow or cause to be administered any medication to a horse on race day prior to such horse running in a race.” Stewards were mindful of Rule 193 (6) which states: “For the purposes of this rule medication means any treatment with drugs or other substances.” The particulars of the charge being that Mr Matis, as the licensed trainer of SHADOW SON when it raced at Albion Park on 26 February 2016, did administer or allow or cause to be administered medication, namely an alkalinising agent, to that horse on race day. Stewards placed significant weight on the expert evidence provided by Dr Caldwell whose opinion is based on peer reviewed scientific research and statistical analysis. This evidence supported the notion that the only credible explanation for the elevated level of TCO2 detected in the blood sample taken from SHADOW SON was by way of administration of an alkalinising agent on race day. Stewards also took into consideration the analysis of a resting blood sample taken from SHADOW SON, and the fact that other race day blood samples taken from SHADOW SON when in the care of Mr Matis returned TCO2 levels within the average range. Mr Matis pleaded not guilty to the charge as issued, however after further consideration, Stewards found the charge could be sustained and found him guilty. When assessing an appropriate penalty Stewards accepted that the measurement of 36.9 mmol/L and 37mmol/L did not give rise to a positive sample when taking into account the 1 mmol/L allowance for the measurement of uncertainty, however a positive result is not required when Stewards consider whether a person is in breach of AHR Rule 193 (3). Mr Matis’s previous unblemished record under this rule, his 45 year license history, his personal circumstances and penalty precedents for a breach of this rule were also taken into account. Stewards were of the opinion that any penalty imposed must serve as both a specific deterrent and a general deterrent to reflect the seriousness of the charge and to illustrate to the industry that a breach of this nature will not be tolerated. Mr Matis was fined $5000. Acting under AHR Rule 193 (5) SHADOW SON was disqualified from its 10th placing from Race 8 at Albion Park on 26 February 2016 and all other placegetters were amended accordingly. Mr Matis was advised of his rights of appeal.
Late Thursday afternoon the New York State Gaming Commission began releasing the names of the harness racing trainers of record who have had recent Glaucine positives. Nicholas Surick, Michael “Mickey” Peterson and David Wiskow were the first three names that have been posted. Surick had one positive, Peterson three positives and Wiskow two positives. All six of the positive tests came from horses competing at Monticello Raceway. Apparently the New York State Gaming Commission is only having the horses disqualified and any purses earned returned. There is no mention of any fines or suspensions for the trainers. It has been said that as many as 35 horses involving over 15 different trainers have come up with Glaucine positives. Licensee: NICHOLAS K. SURICK Licensed As: OWNER-TRAINER-DRIVER Notice Number: MR 33-2016 Racing Type: Harness Track: Monticello Raceway & Mighty M Gaming Notice Date: 04/28/2016 Ruling Type: Other Rule(s): 4120.5 Ruling Text: As trainer of record of the #1, "JACKS TO OPEN", who raced in race Seven at Monticello Raceway and tested positive for GLAUCINE, this horse has been disqualified and the purse must be returned. Note that the above data is current as of 5:50 AM EDT, Friday, April 29, 2016 and subject to change as more information becomes available. Licensee: MICHAEL ( MICKEY ) A. PETERSON Licensed As: OWNER-TRAINER Notice Number: MR 34-2016 Racing Type: Harness Track: Monticello Raceway & Mighty M Gaming Notice Date: 04/28/2016 Ruling Type: Other Rule(s): 4120.5 Ruling Text: As trainer of record of the #6, "NATURAL BREEZE", who raced in race Eleven at Monticello Raceway and tested positive for GLAUCINE, this horse has been disqualified and the purse was returned. Note that the above data is current as of 5:51 AM EDT, Friday, April 29, 2016 and subject to change as more information becomes available. Licensee: MICHAEL ( MICKEY ) A. PETERSON Licensed As: OWNER-TRAINER Notice Number: MR 35-2016 Racing Type: Harness Track: Monticello Raceway & Mighty M Gaming Notice Date: 04/28/2016 Ruling Type: Other Rule(s): 4120.5 Ruling Text: As trainer of record of the #3, " LAST CHANCE T", who raced in race Six at Monticello Raceway and tested positive for GLAUCINE, this horse has been disqualified and the purse must be returned. Note that the above data is current as of 5:52 AM EDT, Friday, April 29, 2016 and subject to change as more information becomes available. Licensee: DAVID J. WISKOW Licensed As: GROOM Notice Number: MR 36-2016 Racing Type: Harness Track: Monticello Raceway & Mighty M Gaming Notice Date: 04/28/2016 Ruling Type: Other Rule(s): 4120.5 Ruling Text: As trainer of record of the #2, "MEAN PAULINE", who raced in race Seven at Monticello Raceway and tested positive for GLAUCINE, this horse has been disqualified and the purse must be returned. Note that the above data is current as of 5:52 AM EDT, Friday, April 29, 2016 and subject to change as more information becomes available. Licensee: MICHAEL ( MICKEY ) A. PETERSON Licensed As: OWNER-TRAINER Notice Number: MR 37-2016 Racing Type: Harness Track: Monticello Raceway & Mighty M Gaming Notice Date: 04/28/2016 Ruling Type: Other Rule(s): 4120.5 Ruling Text: As trainer of record on the #5, "LAST CHANCE T", who raced in race Six at Monticello Raceway and tested positive for GLAUCINE, this horse has been disqualified and the purse must be returned. Note that the above data is current as of 5:53 AM EDT, Friday, April 29, 2016 and subject to change as more information becomes available. Licensee: DAVID J. WISKOW Licensed As: GROOM Notice Number: MR 38-2016 Racing Type: Harness Track: Monticello Raceway & Mighty M Gaming Notice Date: 04/28/2016 Ruling Type: Other Rule(s): 4120.5 Ruling Text: As trainer of record of the #5, "ROCKETPEDIA", who raced in race One at Monticello Raceway and tested positive for GLAUCINE, this horse has been disqualified and the purse must be returned. Note that the above data is current as of 5:53 AM EDT, Friday, April 29, 2016 and subject to change as more information becomes available. To view the New York State Gaming Commission rulings for 2016 click here. Harnesslink Media
A local harness racing trainer who injected a racehorse with performance-enhancing drugs in 2010, then was caught six weeks later intending to do it again, has been fined $3,750 and is “branded with the scarlet letter of a cheat,” the prosecutor in the case said Friday. Derek Riesberry’s convictions for fraud over $5,000 and attempted fraud over $5,000 mark the first time in Canada horse doping was prosecuted criminally, instead of having regulatory agencies such as the Ontario Racing Commission hand out fines and suspensions. Riesberry, 46, now carries a criminal record, noted assistant Crown attorney Brian Manarin, speaking at the end of a 5½-year legal odyssey that took the case all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. “He’s been branded with the scarlet letter of a cheat, which is a terrible thing,” he said. “He’s going to have to do a lot of things to make amends for shooting up a horse with a performance-enhancing drug.” Manarin said there’s a difference between cyclist Lance Armstrong using performance-enhancing drugs and Riesberry injecting them into a horse, Everyone’s Fantasy, before it ran in Race 6 on Sept. 28, 2010, at Windsor Raceway. “The horse has no choice,” said Manarin. The horse was a defenceless victim in the hands of an unscrupulous trainer, Superior Court Justice Steven Rogin said as he passed sentence — a $2,500 fine for the fraud (injecting a horse) and $1,250 for attempted fraud (being caught with drug-filled syringes). People bet $12,746 on Race 6. Though Everyone’s Fantasy was injected with the drugs prior to the race, it finished in sixth place, out of the money. On Nov. 7, 2010, Riesberry was intending to inject another horse, Good Long Life, but was caught before he had the chance. The horse was scratched from Race 3. The public placed bets totalling $11,758. Horse doping threatens the horse industry’s reputation and sends the public to other forms of gaming, Hugh Mitchell, the CEO of Western Fair and a longtime horse racing executive, said in an impact statement to the court. “It’s imperative the bettors always feel they are betting on a fair and ethical product,” he said. “Those who threaten (the industry’s) future through fraudulent practices must be held accountable.” Mitchell said he’s seen the “deplorable” effects of drug abuse on horses. “These horses are strong, beautiful, loyal animals and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.” Riesberry’s licence is suspended. He has been working on a local farm, taking home $465 a week. His lawyer Andrew Bradie said his client has no intention of ever getting back in the business. “I believe he realizes he made a mistake and shouldn’t have done it and he’ll never do it again,” Bradie said outside the courthouse. Speaking to the Star’s Nick Brancaccio as he left the courthouse, Riesberry said: “It’s over with, glad to be done and I’m moving forward with my life.” Both sides in this case thought the fine was fair. Riesberry had no previous criminal record, and he had no record of problems with the racing commission. Though he made a serious error in judgment, he shouldn’t go to jail, Manarin said. “But he should get a criminal record, which is what he got.” Manarin said the decision to go after Riesberry criminally was made in 2010 at the request of the OPP. Officers who investigated the horse doping told him that some of the penalties imposed by the racing commission were not enough to deter people, Manarin said. Now that Riesberry is convicted, “we’ll just see how it shakes out with respect to less or more cheating in the industry.” A second local trainer, Chris Haskell, is facing similar allegations, but his case has been delayed while awaiting the outcome of Riesberry’s case. Drugging horses to enhance their performance is animal abuse, Ontario Racing Commission CEO Jean Major said in an impact statement to the court. Not only is it cheating, but it also can injure the horse as well as endanger everyone else participating in a race, he said. “The offence has brought the integrity of horse racing into question,” he writes. “If allowed to continue without appropriate deterrents, such conduct could jeopardize the future of a multimillion-dollar sector of the Ontario economy.” by Brian Cross for The Windsor Star Reprinted with permission of The Windsor Star
Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards today inquired into the circumstances relating to a report received from the Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) that SOTALOL, a prohibited substance under the Australian Harness Racing Rules, had been detected in a pre race urine sample taken from FAMILY DECISION prior to it competing in Race 1 at Albion Park on 15 January 2016. Evidence was taken from the registered trainer of FAMILY DECISION, Mr Noel Parrish, who explained the circumstances leading up to the race and the husbandry practices adopted in the days prior. After considering all the evidence provided, Mr Parrish was charged pursuant to AHR rule 190(1) which reads: “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.” The particulars of the charge being that Mr Parrish presented FAMILY DECISION to race at Albion Park on 15 January 2016 when a urine sample taken from that horse was found upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance SOTALOL. Mr Parrish was found guilty of the charge as issued. When assessing the matter of penalty Stewards took into account: The nature of the substance concerned The particulars of the case The licence history of Noel Parrish which indicated one prior breach of this rule over a thirty year period 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. The trainer’s and driver’s licence of Mr Parrish was suspended for a period of six months effective immediately. Acting under AHR Rule 195, FAMILY DECISION was disqualified from its sixth placing in Race 1 at Albion Park on 15 January 2016. Mr Parrish was advised of his rights of appeal. Stewards report - Noel Parrish D Farquharson, K Wolsey, N Torpey For more on SOTALOL click here.
The Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC) today adopted resolution (2016-05) which established thresholds and penalties for Cobalt violations, effective April 15, 2016, the day testing begins for Cobalt at all Ohio harness racing racetracks. They are as follows: Cobalt concentrations of less than 25 ppb (parts per billion) of blood serum or plasma will have no penalty; For Cobalt concentrations of 25 ppb or greater but less than 50 ppb of blood serum or plasma, the recommended penalty is a written warning; For Cobalt concentrations of 50 ppb or greater of blood serum or plasma, the recommended penalty is a “B” penalty from the Association of Racing Commissioners International's (ARCI) “Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances & Recommended Penalties & Model Rules Version 11.0 and are as follows; o First Offence: Minimum 15-day suspension, $500 fine & loss of purse o Second Offence: Minimum 30-day suspension, $1,000 fine & loss of purse o Third Offence: Minimum 60-day suspension, $1,000 fine & loss of purse & referred to the OSRC for further action; Any Cobalt concentration exceeding 250 ppb of blood serum or plasma will be referred to the OSRC for further action; For Cobalt concentrations of 25ppb or greater of blood serum or plasma, the recommended penalty includes the placement of the horse on the Veterinarian's List with removal from this list only after a blood test confirms that the Cobalt concentration is below 25 ppb of blood plasma or serum. Testing costs shall be paid by the owner(s) of the horse; These offenses are for any Cobalt violation in any jurisdiction within any 365 day period. Horsemen who have recently claimed or acquired a horse are encouraged to consult their veterinarian and have their horse tested. Dr. James Robertson, OSRC consulting veterinarian, reported on the Ohio State University (OSU) Cobalt Pilot Study, and said the Ohio Department of Agriculture Analytical Toxicology Laboratory (ODA-ATL) has completed analysis of the blood samples for plasma Cobalt concentrations. The first publication from this study, an abstract entitled “Intravenous administration of Cobalt chloride is associated with the hemodynamic alterations in horses” will be presented at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine meeting in Denver, Colorado on June 9, 2016. Dr. Teresa Burns will present the abstract, which will be published in the meeting proceedings. Dr. Robertson added the study has documented high levels of Cobalt chloride administered intravenously can have serious toxic effects on the cardiovascular system of a horse. Kimberly A. Rinker Ohio Standardbred Development Fund Ohio State Racing Commission 77 S. High Street, 18th Floor Columbus, Ohio 43215-6108
The HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today released its decision with respect to charges issued by Harness Racing Victoria Stewards against licensed trainer Mr Craig Demmler. Mr Demmler pleaded guilty to having presented the horse Christian Torado to race at Cranbourne on 19 October 2014 whilst not free of the prohibited substance cobalt. Taking into account Mr Demmler having already served a period of two months suspension in relation to this matter, the HRV RAD Board imposed a further 12 month disqualification to commence midnight 27 March 2016. Mr Demmler was also fined $250 after pleading guilty to a charge relating to his failure to maintain a log book. The HRV RAD Board decision can be viewed here:
On March 10, 2016, in Department 85 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the Honorable James C. Chalfant, Judge presiding, granted Quarter Horse Owner Gustavo De La Torre's petition for a writ of mandate directing the California Horse Racing Board to set aside its approval of the Los Alamitos Race Course “house rule” providing for disqualification of horses resulting from hair testing for albuterol and clenbuterol, both authorized medications in California. Additionally, the court ruled that De La Torre is entitled to declaratory and injunctive relief against both the California Horse Racing Board and Los Alamitos regarding enforcement of the illegal “house rule.” De La Torre was represented by Los Angeles attorneys, Darrell Vienna and Carlo Fisco. Commenting on the Court's decision, Vienna said: “The disqualification of Mr. De La Torre’s horse from the El Primero Del Año Derby was contrary to established Horse Racing Law and CHRB regulations. We were pleased the Court granted Mr. De La Torre's petition and are convinced that a return to the rule of law will benefit California horse racing.” Co-counsel Fisco noted: "Judge Chalfant's rebuke of the CHRB and Los Alamitos is just another in a long line of decisions where the CHRB was found to have ignored the law or failed to discharge its mandatory duties. These clear decisions warrant, in my opinion, a comprehensive review by the Governor or other principals into the policies, personnel and practices of the CHRB. The public interest cannot be held hostage by an agency bent on ignoring the mandates of California law and its own rules." Even though De La Torre’s horse, Runaway Fire, passed all official CHRB testing, he was disqualified by Los Alamitos from participation in the El Primero Del Año Derby after a hair sample taken from the horse was alleged to contain traces of clenbuterol. Evidence presented at the trial established that the Los Alamitos house rule conflicts with California Horse Racing Board rules, thus necessitating the abolishment of the private house rule. March 10, 2016 Darrell Vienna: firstname.lastname@example.org Los Angeles, California
The Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner (the Commissioner) and Sportradar are pleased to announce the signing of the Cooperation and Information Exchange Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna and the Managing Director Security Services Andreas Krannich signed the Cooperation and Information Exchange MoU earlier this week. “This agreement, strengthens cooperation between my office and Sportradar, particularly with respect to information exchange, to assist sports’ controlling bodies to achieve their objectives in reducing the threat presented by criminal and corrupt conduct in Australian sport, particularly in the Victorian Racing Industry (VRI)” Mr Perna said. “The MOU not only helps both agencies gather and share relevant information, but leads to increasing the public confidence in racing.” The partnership underlines efforts to ensure the integrity of Victoria’s $2.8 billion racing industry, which employs approximately 60,000 people. “The MOU formalises the already existing cooperation between Sportradar and the Racing Integrity Commissioner and solidifies the strong ties between the two agencies. The Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner is one of the key sporting integrity units operating in Australia and our Security Services team look forward to working with them even more closely, utilising our integrity related wagering analysis, intelligence gathering and training experience to assist in upholding the integrity of all three codes of racing operating across Victoria. ” Mr Krannich said. Paul Stevens Manager Integrity Operations Sportradar +44 203 695 2214 Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner (03) 8684 7776
Police have moved to ban a Mokbel family associate and accused race-fixer from Victorian harness racing tracks. Paul Sequenzia was recently asked to leave a restricted area at a metropolitan meeting by Harness Racing Victoria investigators. They want to take that further and have made a submission for Victoria Police to ban him from tracks. Mr Sequenzia remains a regular presence at harness-racing meetings, to the concern of some industry figures. Allegations he has been involved in a cobalt horse-doping program and that he is connected to a race-fixing syndicate have some questioning what he is doing on-track. To read the full article written by Mark Buttler and Carly Crawford for The Herald Sun click on this link.
Queensland harness racing has been rocked with the news that Australia’s leading trainer Grant Dixon is facing two positive swabs charges for arsenic. Dixon withdrew his horses from the nominations for Tuesday’s Albion Park and Wednesday’s Redcliffe meeting as he conducts a forensic search of his stable to try and find evidence for his defence. He refused to comment on the swabs when contacted by The Courier-Mail. Arsenic is famously remembered for being the drug suspected to have caused the death of Australia’s greatest racehorse, Phar Lap, in the United States. It is an old fashioned drug which was used by old time trainers as an appetite stimulant for their horses. But giving it to a horse is laced with risk because an overdose can be lethal. A small dose would often make a horse’s coat bloom but an overdose would make its hair fall out. Grant Dixon was Australia’s leading trainer last year and leads the field again this season with 105 winners from 786 starters this season. To read the full article written by Robert Craddock of The Courier Mail click here
In the last couple of weeks, Harnesslink has broken the Glaucine story emanating from the drug positives reported on Ron Burke and Julie Miller trained horses. Since then a number of other trainers located in NJ, PA and NY have had positives reported for the same drug. These positives were reported to the New York State Gaming Commission by its own lab, which not so long ago reported positives for a different bronchial dilator and a number of trainers were then subsequently penalized. The current rash of Glaucine positives simply cannot be dismissed out of hand by the regulatory body in NY. The response, to the drug infraction positives reported by the very competent New York State Lab for Ron Burke and Julie Miller, from The Meadowlands and Jeff Gural, was a huge surprise to me as well as many in North America. Instead of doing what Gural has done to every other trainer and driver since he took over The Meadowlands who have either had reported drug positives or some personal peeve, and stand them down from his tracks, Jeff Gural gave Ron Burke and Julie Miller and some others a free pass on a reported positive and did not stand any of them down. It is a complete turnaround from how The Meadowlands and Jeff Gural have treated everyone else in a similar situation based upon nothing more than - a reported positive test. The one known exception of course is a few years ago, if my recollection is correct, you guessed it, one of Jeff's trainers got a positive. In that case, once the vet was blamed all was apparently forgiven. Remember the Canadian owner barred from the Meadowlands because his trainer had a reported positive? I recognize that it is a great embarrassment for Jeff Gural to have people who train for him charged with drug infractions (as perhaps it was for that Canadian owner), but surely for a drug policy to be effective, it must be applied without fear or favour and to suddenly change what has been custom and policy sends a disturbing message to the wider industry as a whole. Compare the response to the Ron Burke and Julie Miller drug positives reported by the New York Gaming Commission's respected laboratory and the unfair treatment recently meted out to Robert Bresnahan Jr. and a host of others who have had reported positives under Gural 's definition of a positive which is obviously not that of any regulatory body in either NY, NJ or PA. In Bresnahan's case two horses similarly were said to test positive for EPO or its antibodies in out of competition testing. Testing done by the Meadowlands, not the New Jersey Racing Commission. There was no verification of any positive by the regulatory body lab in NJ. While Bresnahan has asked for additional testing to be taken to clear his name, so far reportedly denied him, he is unable to race horses at The Meadowlands, Tioga Downs or Vernon Downs. The reason given in the Meadowlands press release was as follows: "As a result of the positive tests, Mr. Bresnahan will be unable to participate at the Meadowlands and sister properties,Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs". Yes, just a positive test. So Mr Bresnahan was barred immediately, while Ron Burke and Julie Miller are allowed to continue to ply their trade even though the New York Racing Commission has found drug positives on horses trained by both of them. In addition, Gural (Little E LlC stable), unlike the Canadian owner, continues not only to race his horses at the Meadowlands and Yonkers but does so while employing those trainers with the reported positives. One thing that has really intrigued me about the testing regime in place at The Meadowlands is the almost God like reverence given to the testing laboratory of the Hong Kong Jockey Club which is selected for each case The Meadowlands generally uses to toss someone. Where I come from in the Southern Hemisphere, the harness racing industry certainly doesn't place the Hong Kong Jockey Club on the huge pedestal that the Meadowlands does and one has to wonder why the Meadowlands continually shouts their praises from the rooftops at every opportunity. Is it because that lab will call anything a positive even if it doesn't come close to a violation of any rule or regulation? Is it because it denies the accused any right to clear his name because of where the sample was sent? Is there a reason why the Meadowlands did not ask the Commission in New Jersey to at least accompany its personnel to conduct out of competition testing, so that if there was a violation of drug rules, the party would be officially stood down by virtue of a Commission ruling? As an outsider looking into the North American scene from the Southern Hemisphere, I just cannot get my head around the way people in the same situation such as Bresnahan -- Burke and Miller can be treated so differently. While the solution seems to stop the hypocrisy and role playing as judge, jury and executioner, and work with the Commissions to see to it that trainers and owners, if the latter are involved, are penalized appropriately for violations of the rules governing racing. Perhaps others have some different ideas to resolve this, reinstate all or bar all, but for the moment the stench of hypocrisy and that of a double standard is so strong in this instance that it has wafted all the way down to the Southern Hemisphere under its own steam. JC
Following a detailed investigation the Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) has charged the trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott with three breaches of Rule 804 (2) of the New Zealand Rules of Thoroughbred Racing. The charges relate to presenting three horses to race with a prohibited substance, namely, Cobalt at a level above the threshold of 200ug/L. The investigation showed that the circumstances surrounding the cobalt positives in New Zealand were significantly different to the recent Australian cases, where trainers were charged with the administration of a prohibited substance. An explanation provided by Wexford Stables was that their horses had been exposed to heavily cobalt dosed water troughs the horses shared with dairy cattle. As part of our investigation the RIU undertook a series of trials that proved that cobalt levels above 200ug/L can come about by the oral feeding of cobalt in high concentrations. The trials were carried out by Dr Andrew Grierson Veterinary, advisor to the RIU. The trial and its results have been peer reviewed and confirmed by Professor Stuart Paine, an international expert on the subject. An application has been made for the disqualification of the horses, Sound Proposition, from its third placing in the NZ Derby on 28 February 2015 at Auckland, Quintastics, from its first placing at Matamata on 11 March 2015 and Suffire, from its first placing on 5 February 2015 at Tauranga. The Cobalt readings for the three horses were - Sound Proposition 541 Quintastics 640 Suffire 309 The charges will be heard by the Judicial Control Authority (JCA), an independent racing judicial body. As the matter is now before the JCA no further comment will be made. Questions and Answers relating to Cobalt and the Charges 1. What is Cobalt? It is an essential trace element required for life and naturally occurring in horses, dogs and other mammals. 2. Why is it a Prohibited Substance? Cobalt administered in amounts much greater than required for normal living has been demonstrated to have an effect on the blood system by stimulating the production of red blood cells (erythropoiesis). The effect being similar to EPO. 3. Why is there a threshold for cobalt? This is because it is naturally occurring in horses and so a level has been set above what could be considered to be a range for a normal population. The threshold of 200 ug/L has been set for the equine racing codes in Australia and NZ. This was based on a study of 2,000 samples taken from horses across Australasia. The study was carried out by the Chemistry Centre (WA), an internationally accredited racing laboratory in Perth, Western Australia and the statistical analysis of the results was carried out by Emeritus Professor Brynn Hiddert of the University of NSW. 4. How much Drug testing is carried out in NZ racing? As drug testing is a key platform of the racing industry’s integrity strategy each racing season over 12,000 drug tests are carried out. 5. Why has the O’Sullivan/Scott investigation taken eight months? Cobalt is a newly identified performance enhancing drug and therefore the number of studies on how it can be applied to breach the threshold have been limited. This has meant that both in Australia and NZ significant time has been spent investigating this area and carrying out trials. Trials not only take time to be completed they have to be ethically approved and the results analysed and peer reviewed. 6. What is the difference in being charged with administration of a prohibited substance and charged with presenting a horse to race with a prohibited substance? The charge of administration is made where there is evidence that there was deliberate administration of the prohibited substance. The charge of presenting is where there is no evidence of deliberate administration or where the prohibited substance entered the animals system through negligence, contamination or some other means. 7. What are the potential penalties for the charges? Up to 5 years suspension or disqualification and up to $25,000 fine. New Zealand Racing Integrity Unit
Racing Queensland Stewards have today disqualified harness trainer Paul McGregor from racing for a period of 18 months effectively immediately after he pleaded guilty to presenting a horse with elevated cobalt levels. At an inquiry held into a post-race urine sample taken from GOTTA GO ARTELECT (NZ) following its winning performance in Race 6 at Albion Park on Tuesday, 30 June 2015, McGregor pleaded guilty to a charge under Rule 190 (1) in that he presented the horse with the prohibited substance cobalt above the prescribed threshold. In determining an appropriate penalty in this matter, RQ Stewards gave consideration to the following: - The serious nature of the substance concerned and the level of Cobalt recorded (250Ug/L) - No previous offences under this rule in a licence history of 28 years; - 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; - Mr McGregor’s guilty plea; and - The manner in which he conducted himself throughout the inquiry. Stewards further directed that under Rule 195 GOTTA GO ARTELECT (NZ) be disqualified from its win in Race 6 at Albion Park on 30 June 2015 and all other placegetters be amended accordingly. Mr McGregor was advised of his rights of appeal. Racing Queensland is due to conduct seven other inquiries relating to horses returning elevated cobalt levels across the three racing codes in the coming weeks. For further information please contact Communications Manager Adam Gardini on 0438 733 738 or email email@example.com
The New York Gaming Commission has reported further positives for harness racing trainers in testing samples for the Class 2 Drug Glaucine. Trainers Mark Ford, Nick Surick, Daniel Renaud and Milo Zdjelar have all been given notices that horses they raced came up positive for this drug. This follows last week's announcement that Ron Burke and Julie Miller were hit with similar drug violations. Please note, that these are only accusations, and that each of these licensees has a right to due process pursuant to New York law and regulations. Burke & Julie Miller hit with drug violations Gural issues statement on Glaucine Positives Glaucine. An interesting mild-psychedelic with a taste for CEVs and euphoria. Extract from Wikipedia Glaucine is an alkaloid found in several different plant species in the Papaveraceae family such as Glaucium flavum, Glaucium oxylobum and Corydalis yanhusuo, and in other plants like Croton lechleri in the family Euphorbiaceae. It has bronchodilator and antiinflammatory effects, acting as a PDE4 inhibitor and calcium channel blocker, and is used medically as an antitussive in some countries. Glaucine may produce side effects such assedation, fatigue, and a hallucinogenic effect characterised by colourful visual images, and has been detected as a novel psychoactive drug. Mechanism of Action Glaucine binds to the benzothiazepine site on L-type Ca2+-channels, thereby blocking calcium ion channels in smooth muscle like the human bronchus. Glaucine has no effect on intracellular calcium stores, but rather, does not allow the entry of Ca2+ after intracellular stores have been depleted. Ca2+ influx is a vital component in the process of muscular contraction, and the blocking of this influx therefore reduces the ability of the muscle to contract. In this way, glaucine can prevent smooth muscle from contracting, allowing it to relax. Glaucine has also been demonstrated to be a dopamine receptor antagonist, favoring D1 and D1-like receptors. It is also a non-competitive selective inhibitor of PDE4 in human bronchial tissue and granulocytes. PDE4 is an isoenzyme that hydrolyzes cyclic AMP to regulate human bronchial tone (along with PDE3). Yet as a PDE4 inhibitor, glaucine possesses very low potency. For more on Glaucine from Wikipedia Harnesslink Media
Early Thursday Harnesslink broke the news on Ron Burke and Julie Miller drug violations. This is the statement that Jeff Gural wrote as a result. Although I am currently on vacation, I have been made aware that apparently several trainers at Yonkers Raceway including Julie Miller and Ron Burke have had horses test positive for glaucine. As you know, Ms. Miller trains several horses for me and Mr. Burke trains Gural Hanover, a horse of which I am a part-owner. Both trainers have already called me and vigorously denied the accusations. At this point, I am unaware if any official action has been taken by the New York Gaming Commission (NYGC) or Yonkers Raceway. I have reached out to officials at the NYGC in an effort to receive more information about the nature of the tests so that we can do our own analysis and draw our own conclusions. I want to be clear; we plan to see what actions, if any, are taken by the NYGC and Yonkers Raceway before we do anything. In addition, representatives of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) contacted me and have strongly suggested that all of the trainers involved be given their due process rights before any action is taken by my racetracks. The SBOANJ re-affirmed their support for our strong stance on integrity. As such, until an official announcement has been made by the NYGC, Ms. Miller, Mr. Burke, and other trainers whose horses received positive tests that are otherwise in good standing at our three facilities, will be able to race their horses at the Meadowlands. I have directed our own investigator to immediately reach out to Dr. Wan in Hong Kong to see if we can have the many samples we have previously taken from horses trained by Mr. Burke and horses I own that were trained by Ms. Miller to see if glaucine was present in any of those samples. I believe that New York will make the methods used to test for glaucine available to Hong Kong. We are also waiting to see if any other horses in New York test positive for glaucine to see if there is any common element involved, such as the same veterinarians, same feed, same shavings, or the same legitimate feed supplements. Jeff Gural