Rac­ing body proac­tive

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS -

Some of re­gional Vic­to­ria’s premier race­tracks have been swept up in the dop­ing scan­dal made public ear­lier this month.

A se­ries of sto­ries have ap­peared in the me­dia about a small ring of train­ers and in­dus­try work­ers in­volved in us­ing an il­le­gal sodium bi­car­bon­ate top up only min­utes be­fore rac­ing.

Eight peo­ple, in­clud­ing three train­ers, have al­ready been charged with 271 counts of breach­ing rac­ing’s rules.

Five oth­ers — who aren’t train­ers — have also been charged for be­ing ‘‘party to the ad­min­is­tra­tion of al­ka­liz­ing agents and/or med­i­ca­tions to a horse, or horses, on a race day’’.

Sey­mour Rac­ing Club chief ex­ec­u­tive Penny Reeves said if those in­volved are tried and found guilty, they should be given a se­ri­ous penalty.

‘‘I’m very pleased that none of our train­ers are in­volved in it, and I’d hope that they wouldn’t be,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s ob­vi­ously a bad look . . . these sorts of things crop­ping up, for the im­age of rac­ing. It’s a clean sport, but there are al­ways those who will push the bound­aries.’’

In a state­ment to The Tele­graph Vic­to­rian Rac­ing Min­is­ter Martin Pakula said ‘‘no­body in­volved in rac­ing en­joys see­ing the harm that this case is do­ing to rac­ing’s im­age’’.

‘‘I would be much more con­cerned, how­ever, had a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion not been con­ducted, had this ev­i­dence not been un­cov­ered, and had charges not been laid,’’ he said.

‘‘The fact is Rac­ing Vic­to­ria did un­cover this con­duct and all those al­legedly in­volved have been charged with se­ri­ous of­fences.

‘‘That is a credit to Rac­ing Vic­to­ria’s in­tegrity team and I — like all race lovers — now look for­ward to the RAD Board hear­ing those charges and pun­ish­ing any­one who is found guilty.’’

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