Victoria has long been the racing capital of Australia on the back of the flagship spring racing carnival and now they’re set to become the top dogs in the war on drugs cheats as well.
In a decision announced today a $4 million funding boost will be given to the industry in a direct action response to the use of performance enhancing drugs and growth hormones.
This is the first such grant given anywhere in the country and will make the testing process far simpler and more efficient.
Racing Minister Denis Napthine announced the funding which will enhance the technology of current testing equipment and procedures used by Racing Analytical Services Limited.
It’s a move welcomed by chairman of stewards Terry Bailey who says it gives them a major weapon in the ongoing fight against drug cheats.
“This is something we have canvassed for a long time,” he said.
“It will enable us to be more self-sufficient and have people dedicated to be in front of the play.”
At the end of the day any moves to ensure the fairness of the industry are an advantage as it gives greater confidence to trainers, jockeys and of course punters.
The big advantage it gives Victoria is the ability to test samples on their terms rather than the current situation where testing for EPO and human growth hormones had to be done overseas.
Long term then the $4 million will probably made back when you take into account the expense of the current process both in terms of cash and time.
In house testing will begin as early as the first quarter of 2012 with RASL already having begun upgrading their lab.