The National Horseracing Authority has confirmed in a press release issued on Monday 29 August that three urine specimens have been found to be in excess of the international threshold for cobalt in urine specimens.
The NHA advise that it has conducted a thorough investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding each of these matters.
The NHA has considered the evidence presented by the relevant trainers, senior veterinary surgeons and other relevant parties and has established that:
– Vitamin B12 supplements, which can be obtained without veterinary prescription, have in all probability inadvertently led to these specimens exceeding the threshold for cobalt;
– the notices and information regarding cobalt and vitamin B12 were inconsistently disseminated and cobalt related documentation had not been correctly reflected;
– there was still uncertainty amongst both trainers and veterinarians as to when to administer B12 vitamin supplements without it leading to a specimen taken from a horse exceeding the threshold for cobalt.
After consideration of all relevant factors including prior to these findings, the NHA has decided in the interests of fairness and justice, not to prosecute this as “prohibited substances” matters and will accordingly not be charging any of the persons concerned.
However, the NHA will be conducting a full internal Inquiry which will involve all parties relevant to proceedings. The findings in so far as it may be of relevance to the racing public will be published in due course.
In the interim, the NHA has already embarked on a roadshow involving nationwide workshops which will include fully apprising trainers and veterinarians of the implications of raceday medications, detection times and the use of B12 vitamins, the cobalt related repercussions and other supplements, as well as the NHA Rules pertaining hereto.
The NHA says it is mindful of its mission to maintain the integrity of the sport of horseracing and will continue to police substance abuse with its usual vigour and determination to ensure a level playing field for all.