Cobalt test results can’t come quick enough as rumour mill gets out of control in Queensland

Racing Queensland general manager of integrity operations Wade Birch.

Racing Queensland general manager of integrity operations Wade Birch. Source: Supplied

THE ugly rumours over the identity of any accused Queensland cobalt-linked trainers will continue despite the release of test results tomorrow.

The Courier-Mail has confirmed that numbers but not names will be announced when Racing Queensland receives the results of the first batch of samples kept for retrospective cobalt testing.

Results were expected to have been known by now but delays have been caused by the high volume of samples being processed by WA-based ChemCentre.

The waiting game has been a nightmare for many of Queensland’s trainers with just about everyone who has ever put a bridle on a horse linked to the scandal in malicious rumour mongering.

Just about every trainer has had the finger pointed at them and most are sick of the innuendo and desperate for results to come through to show they have nothing to hide.

However the imminent test results will not make the murky waters any clearer and the names of the trainers of alleged cobalt-positive horses will not be revealed in the first instance.

“We will be making the results known but at this stage we won’t be naming anyone until any irregularity is confirmed by second tests as per legislation,” RQ general manager of integrity operations Wade Birch said.

From initial screening in Queensland, nine samples (from both gallops and harness) were identified for further testing. Three of them have already been ruled to have been clear, coming in under the 200 micrograms per litre of urine threshold.

Those samples date back to July last year but an additional 50 samples, from as recent as December 19, were also sent to the ChemCentre for analysis.

If trainers are found guilty of administering cobalt to their horses, they could face lengthy suspensions.

Cobalt is a substance that occurs naturally in horses but in higher quantities can generate more red blood cells to carry oxygen through the body and allow a horse to perform at a peak level for longer without the onset of fatigue.

Australian rules now dictate that if cobalt is detected at a concentration above 200 micrograms per litre in urine in a raceday sample it is a prohibited substance.

Story courtesy Ben Dorries


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