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Victorian trainer issued with positive cobalt sample charges

Racing Victoria (RV) Stewards' on Thursday issued charges against licensed trainer Belinda Dunn following an investigation into the circumstances that led to the Mrs Dunn trained, Margot’s Boy, returning a urine sample containing cobalt in excess of the permitted threshold of 100 micrograms per litre in urine.

The post-race urine sample was taken from Margot’s Boy after winning the Mark Goring BM58 Handicap over 1980 metres at Tatura Racecourse on 23 September 2017.

In accordance with Australian Rule of Racing 178C, cobalt is a prohibited substance at a mass concentration in excess of 100 micrograms per litre in urine.

The concentration of cobalt detected in the urine sample was determined by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) to be greater than 200 micrograms per litre (with a measurement uncertainty of 10 micrograms per litre at 100 micrograms per litre) and by Racing Science Centre to be also greater than 200 micrograms per litre (with a measurement uncertainty of 8 microgram per litre measurement of uncertainty).

The following three charges (of which two are in the alternative) have been laid against Mrs Dunn under the Australian Rules of Racing.

Charge One (AR 175(h)(i)) – Administration of a prohibited substance for the purpose of affecting the performance or behaviour of a horse in a race

AR 175(h)(i) provides that the Principal Racing Authority (or the Stewards exercising powers delegated to them) may penalise:
(h)  Any person who administers, or causes to be administered, to a horse any prohibited substance:

(i)  For the purpose of affecting the performance or behaviour of a horse in a race or of preventing it starting in a race.

The Stewards allege that, prior to the race on 23 September 2017, Mrs Dunn administered, or caused to be administered, to Margot’s Boy a prohibited substance, being cobalt at a concentration in excess of 100 micrograms per litre in urine, for the purpose of affecting the performance or behaviour of Margot’s Boy in the race.

Charge Two (AR 175(h)(ii)) [Alternative to Charge One] - Administration of a prohibited substance that was detected in a raceday sample

AR 175(h) provides that the Principal Racing Authority (or the Stewards exercising powers delegated to them) may penalise:

(h)  Any person who administers, or causes to be administered, to a horse any prohibited substance:

(ii)  which is detected in any sample taken from such horse prior to or following the running of any race.
The Stewards allege that, prior to the race on 23 September 2017, Mrs Dunn administered, or caused to be administered, to Margot’s Boy a prohibited substance, being cobalt at a concentration in excess of 100 micrograms per litre in urine, which was detected in a sample taken from Margot’s Boy following the running of the race.

Charge Three (AR 178) [Alternative to Charges One and Two] – Presentation of a horse on raceday with a prohibited substance within

AR 178 relevantly provides that:
…when any horse that has been brought to a racecourse for the purpose of engaging in a race and a prohibited substance is detected in any sample taken from it prior to or following its running in any race, the trainer and any other person who was in charge of such horse at any relevant time may be penalised.

The Stewards allege that on 23 September 2017, Mrs Dunn brought Margot’s Boy to the Tatura Racecourse for the purpose of engaging in the Mark Goring BM58 Handicap over 1980 metres when a prohibited substance, being cobalt at a mass concentration in excess of 100 micrograms per litre in urine, was detected in a urine sample taken from Margot’s Boy following the running of the race.

The charges issued against Mrs Dunn will be heard before the Victorian Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed.


  
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