Queensland racing authorities have started a wide-ranging scheme to crackdown on illegal practices in a bid to restore integrity to the industry.
The new system will allow inspectors to carry out random spot checks on horses before races and to better monitor practices in racing stables.
Jim Malo reports.
The planned racing crackdown is a result of the State Government pressuring the industry to clean up its act.
Darren Condon, CEO Racing Queensland: “A new intiative of Racing Queensland as part of the mandate of the new government, that our integrity unit of the business would grow and be more focused on eliminating unfair practices and illegal practices in racing.”
Queensland racing authorities say they will carry out spot checks on horses, stables and trainers in an effort to reduce illegal activities on race day.
Wade Birch, Racing Queensland Chairman of Stewards: “We’ve now got to work towards eliminating any other opportunities for participants to gain an unfair advantage over their fellow participants.”
One of the biggest issues is the practice of drenching.
Drenching is when a horses blood-oxygen levels are artificially increased by using bi-carbonate.
This makes a horse run faster for longer.
Authorities plan to monitor illegal drenching using their new i-Stat machine.
The machine tests a horse’s blood and can tell if the bi-carbonate level is above the legal limit.
The inspectors will also monitor medical records and other suspect practices in racing stables.
The racing industry is one of Queensland’s largest and concerned members have welcomed the crackdown.
John Meagher, Horse Trainer: “Its the third biggest employer of people accross the board. It has its place. People who are cheating, I have no time for them.”
Two serious suspensions and at least 20 minor breaches have been dealt with by Racing Queensland since the scheme began last month.
This crackdown by Racing Queensland aims to tighten its grip on doping by carrying out these random inspections to keep trainers in check.
Jim Malo, QUT News.