Racing Victoria is set to revolutionise drug and alcohol testing in the Australian racing industry with a new procedure increasing the frequency of testing and at the same time reducing the cost.
Chief Steward Terry Bailey says they have begun trialling a new hand held device which will allow a greater number of samples to be tested without any increased to the budget.
Currently the drug testing allowance in the budget stands at $45,000 a month with each test worth a hefty $180, twelve times more than the new model.
“Each initial test will cost about $15,” Bailey said.
“We will still have to do the $180 tests but just not so many of them.”
The current system requires every urine sample taken from track riders and jockeys to be sent for laboratory analysis.
The new method will mean only samples that indicate possible positive readings on the handheld device will require a full analysis, saving time and slashing outlay.
“This new machine will flag the samples we need to have a close look at,” Bailey said.
“If the initial sample shows no signs of anything untoward being in it, then it won’t go to be analysed.
“Only those tests the new system red flags will be sent off for the $180 test.
“Once the trial period is over, then we’ll be able to do more testing.”
There is no change planned to the severity of penalties for those found with drugs or alcohol in the system however all relevant persons within the racing community have been informed of the new procedures.