Australian Racing Board Propose Trainer Drug Tests

By: Sarah Fortnum
November 21st, 2011

The Australian Racing Board has introduced a proposition that trainers be subjected to random drug and alcohol testing.

These tests would also applied to anyone who handles the horse in the stables, including stablehands.

The NSW Trainers Association (NSWTA) is against the introduction of such testing, which would require trainers to have a blood alcohol level below 0.02.

NSWTA chief executive Steve McMahon has urged the Australian Racing Board to instead focus on upgrading racecourses and training facilities.

“We would never condone the abuse of drugs and alcohol and all we are asking at this stage is a common sense approach,” McMahon said.

“One of the proposed rule changes could see any `horse handler’ with a blood alcohol reading of 0.02 fined or suspended.

“If a stablehand has a night out with his or her mates and has a few drinks and then wakes up at 3am to sweep and clean the stables and they are 0.03, under these rules they could lose their job.”

“It’s hard enough as it is getting staff to who are willing to wake up at 3am to clean out horse stables (and) feed… horses for relatively low wages.”


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