An­other blow for Cal­gary’s Camp­bell

Har­ness-rac­ing driver re­moved from world cham­pi­onship af­ter pos­i­tive drug test

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DAN RALPH

Cal­gary’s Bran­don Camp­bell was re­moved as Canada’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the world driv­ing cham­pi­onship Tues­day af­ter be­ing in­volved in a pos­i­tive drug test.

Dan Gall, the pres­i­dent/CEO of Stan­dard­bred Canada, said Ima Dude, a horse trained by Camp­bell, tested pos­i­tive for ephedrine and pyril­amine and as­so­ci­ated me­tab­o­lites. The vi­o­la­tion oc­curred July 9 at Cen­tury Downs Race­track and Casino near Cal­gary.

Camp­bell, 33, re­ceived a $4,000 fine and ban that be­gan Tues­day and will run through Jan. 31, 2018.

“Bran­don was the trainer of the horse and sub­se­quently was re­spon­si­ble for the horse,” Gall said in a tele­phone in­ter­view. “I think he was gen­uinely sur­prised with it (pos­i­tive test).

“It’s a cat­e­gory 2, which is high. The fine and sus­pen­sion ... that’s fairly sig­nif­i­cant for a driver.”

It’s also the sec­ond pos­i­tive test in­volv­ing Camp­bell in roughly three months.

On May 15, he re­ceived a $100 fine and 30-day sus­pen­sion from Horse Rac­ing Al­berta af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive for mar­i­juana.

Camp­bell was also fined $100 by HRA on May 7 for us­ing an ex­ag­ger­ated move­ment of whip­ping dur­ing a race.

Ephedrine is one of four ac­tive com­po­nents of the herb Ephe­dra. It’s a stim­u­lant that helps re­duce the swelling and con­stric­tion of blood ves­sels in nasal pas­sages that helps widen air­ways to the lungs, al­low­ing for much eas­ier breath­ing.

Pyril­amine is an an­ti­his­tamine used for al­ler­gies and is a com­mon in­gre­di­ent in cold reme­dies for hu­mans. In horses, it helps re­duce or pre­vent al­ler­gic re­ac­tions to his­tamines.

Gall said Camp­bell can ap­peal the fine and sus­pen­sion but wasn’t sure if Camp­bell had done so or in­tended to. Camp­bell’s re­place­ment hasn’t yet been de­ter­mined. And, with the world driv­ing cham­pi­onship slated to be­gin Aug. 12, time is of the essence. James Mac­Don­ald, a Char­lot­te­town na­tive now liv­ing in Guelph, Ont., would seem a log­i­cal choice. Mac­Don­ald fin­ished sec­ond to Camp­bell in qual­i­fy­ing for the world event but Gall said it’s not nec­es­sar­ily that sim­ple.

“Only if he’s agree­able and avail­able,” he said. “That’s the prob­lem ... these guys are booked up with races, com­mit­ments.

“At present, we’re look­ing at all op­tions and hop­ing we’ll have some fairly good news on that in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture.”

Camp­bell be­gan his har­ness-rac­ing ca­reer in 2003.

He has driven over 1,300 win­ners and amassed more than $8 mil­lion in earn­ings.

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