Red Tape Could See Arsenic Slip Through System

By: Ryan Clark
December 5th, 2011

Call it a loophole, call it a bad rule or call it red tape but either way a legal storm is brewing in Victoria.

In short an unnamed trainer won a feature race at Moonee Valley on Manikato Stakes night but problems were found during testing.

The problem was an unusually high level of arsenic and this is where the issues start.

The tests were done at a laboratory in Hong Kong, the only racing lab in the world that carries out this test.

On the current rules the ‘B’ sample must also be tested however this must be done at a different location.

Given no other lab exists to carry out the test stake holders are at a stalemate that will have to be settled in the courts.

Dayle Brown, the integrity services manager for Racing Victoria says they are attempting to avoid that by finding another suitable location.

“Once all our investigative avenues are exhausted, we will then decide whether we’re going to proceed on the evidence or not,” he said.

While testing for arsenic isn’t an overly difficult procedure, the lab that does it must be recognised as an official racing laboratory.

Brown says that technically stewards could proceed even with results from a single location but it would make things far more difficult.

“I’m not saying that’s the situation here,” he said.

“Hopefully we will be in a position in the next 14 days to finalise our avenue.”

As yet there’s been no indication of what horse is involved but given the importance of the card it’s come out of it could have massive effects on the Australian racing industry.

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