Substance charges laid following Queensland stewards probe

Horse Racing Queensland, Australia.

AAP | | (23 Jun. 20) — Queensland stewards have charged 15 people, including 13 trainers, with buying unregistered substances after a state wide investigation over the past two months.

In a statement on Wednesday morning, the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission said it had informed 13 thoroughbred trainers, one stable hand and one jockey they had been charged with allegedly procuring substances or preparations in breach of the applicable legislation.

Those charged are trainers John Zielke, Jared Wehlow, Ricky Vale, Benjamin Williams, Christopher Tapiolas, Ian Shaw, Toni Schofield, Steven Royes, Kevin Miller, Darryl Hansen, Darryl Gardiner, Kristy Best, and Trinity Bannon, stablehand Andrew Minton and jockey Mark Barnham.

They are based in areas from the Sunshine Coast to central Queensland.

QRIC boss Ross Barnett said the alleged breaches were as a result of a state-wide investigation into the alleged procurement of substances or preparations in breach of Australian Rule of Racing 256(2)(a)(iii).

“The rule says: A person must not have in his or her possession or on his or her premises any medication, substance or preparation which has not been registered, labelled, prescribed, dispensed or obtained in accordance with applicable Commonwealth and State legislation,” Barnett said.

“All those charged have been notified and Stewards have requested submissions in writing or at an Inquiry on a date to be fixed.”

It is understood some of those charged face multiple offences while others face as few as one.

The charges relate to purchase or procuring substances but not administering, which is a more serious charge.

There have been several raids conducted by police on racing stables in Queensland this year but no information was available on whether Wednesday’s charges were related to those investigations.


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Canadian regulators amend clenbuterol stand-down period

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RYAN DICKEY, reporting for Horse Racing Nation writes:

The Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency has changed rules regarding the administration of clenbuterol in race horses, according to a tweet from Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson.

Lawson stated the CPMA “announced the guidance for clenbuterol use has been extended from seven days to 28 days. The new testing will be effective May 1, 2020.”

This development comes on the heels of prominent trainer Mark Casse identifying the medication as “the most abused drug in our industry.”

While there was no mention of the development on the agency’s official Canadian government website, clenbuterol is an approved medication for race horses.

The CPMA, tasked with regulating and supervising pari-mutuel horse races and ensuring betting is conducted in a way that is fair to the public, is a special operating agency under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Clenbuterol promotes bronchodilation, but can also be used as a medication similar to anabolic steroids and is therefore also considered to be a performance enhancing drug.

Casse applauded Canadian regulators for extending the stand-down period for clenbuterol from seven days to 28 days. 

Each racing jurisdiction has the authority approve or deny usage of such drugs, but most jurisdictions prohibit findings of any level of the medication in post-race blood tests.

View source article »

Clenbuterol and Horse Meat

The racing industry clearly knows that it sends its racehorses to slaughter as a matter of routine for human consumption. So in good conscience horse racing should not be allowing the use of clenbuterol at all. As stated earlier, “the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency is a special operating agency under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.”

The European Union, for example, who import horse meat for human consumption from Canada, prohibits the use of clenbuterol in food-producing animals. It is repugnant and irresponsible how this is allowed to continue.

Related Reading

Banned Drugs in Slaughter Horses and H.R. 961; Tuesday’s Horse »

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In wake of doping scandal, Kentucky may fund national testing lab

By Ryan Dickey | Horse Racing Nation

Kentucky legislators have passed a one-year budget for the upcoming fiscal year with three initiatives intended to bolster the integrity of horse racing in the state and on a national level. 

An $11.3 billion general fund budget is awaiting approval by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. Three horse racing-specific items represent $2.1 million of that total for the new fiscal year beginning July 1. 

If the budget is approved and the horse racing initiatives survive the governor’s line-item veto power, the state will add a safety steward and additional investigators to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, help fund a national medication testing laboratory and pay for a research project to study jockey injury and concussion protocols.

“There’s been a goal for a couple of years for Kentucky to have a national testing lab, not only for racing in Kentucky but for other states,” said Damon Thayer, the Senate Majority Floor Leader. “The timing was right with the news of the indictments last month to try to tackle the problem of illegal medications in racing on the front end and the back end.”

The medication testing lab would work with the bolstered investigative arm of the KHRC. Another item in the budget was to add a position in the KHRC as well as additional investigators tasked with making sure all Kentucky medication rules are adhered to on the backside of the state’s race tracks. Read full report »

We Say

Horse racing is running scared. Perhaps not fast enough. You should have gotten your hurry on when Justify (pictured above) knowingly failed a dope test which tarnished the Triple Crown. Where were you then Kentucky? Instead, it takes a huge, highly embarrassing bunch of drug busts — which you had nothing to do with by the way — for you to act. Had this on your mind for a couple of years? If it weren’t for those drugs busts you would still be sitting on your hands.

In the meantime, none of this has anything to do with the safety of the horses themselves. At the end of the day, medications not considered performance enhancing but destructive to the health and viability of the racehorse, will still be allowed, right? That means horses will continue to break down and die. So, at the end of the day, what this appears to really be about is an attempt to regain the public trust in order to protect your gambling revenues.

Then there is this. It puts the drug testing of racehorses into racing’s hands and not into the hands of an independent body — independent of racing — such as the USADA (U.S. Anti Doping Agency) which the Horseracing Integrity Act would accomplish, for a while anyway.

Gambling revenues

According to the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, prize money for races worldwide reach almost $3.5 billion a year, while the global betting industry for horse racing generates over $116 billion in revenue each year. (Dec. 2017)

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Featured Image: Triple-Crown Winner Justify gallops at Churchill Downs. Andy Lyons / Getty Images.

Second Image: Triple Crown winner Justify, in 2018. Pinterest.

Quarter Horse trainer Bobby Martinez hit with 34-Year Suspension for eight Class 1 violations

Quarter Horses jump out the starting gate.

Quarter Horse conditioner Bobby R. Martinez, who has trained winners of more than $12.9 million, has been handed a potential 34-year suspension and fines of up to $480,000 after the New Mexico Racing Commission says he had eight positive tests for a Class 1 substance.

The rulings, issued March 31, were all for ostarine, which also goes by the names MK-2866 and enobosarm. Ostarine is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in humans or animals and is not considered to have any legitimate purpose in a racehorse. Two of the positives were found post-race, while the rest were in out-of-competition tests.

Texas-based trainer Bobby Martinez was fined $480,000 and suspended until 2054.  ©TRACK Magazine / Mark Herron.
Texas-based trainer Bobby Martinez was fined $480,000 and suspended until 2054 for racehorse doping. ©TRACK Magazine / Mark Herron.

Martinez told Q-Racing, a publication of the American Quarter Horse Association, that he does not deserve such harsh treatment, as he was only serving as a paper trainer for another, unidentified person. 

Ostarine falls into the category of SARMs (selective androgen receptor modulator substances) which are not anabolic steroids themselves but operate on androgenic receptors to create similar effects in humans. It wouldn’t be the first time ostarine has been discovered in connection with racehorses. In September 2019, the Emirates Racing Authority issued a press release detailing an inspection of the stables of Rashed Bouresly. 

Like other designer drugs, ostarine is sold online and shipped with labels indicating it is a “research chemical” to evade restrictions on mailing it. Read full story »

Featured Image: Flickr

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