The Victorian stewards are investigating five trainers based in Melbourne for systemic doping plot which has been going on for the past eight years. The trainers may face 200 counts of breaching racing rules that relate to use of sodium bicarbonate which enhances performance. This follows thorough scrutiny of staff messages which indicates that there was tubing of the horses on the competition day. Those likely to be charged are Aquanita Racing Trainers and their staff.
Also, it is being suggested that the win by Mosheen in 2012 at the Rosehill gardens could also be investigated. Note that her TCO2 levels were slightly above average even though they were below 36 millimoles/L of plasma. The Racing NSW has the power to retest the frozen Swab samples. However, Marc van Gestel the chief steward said that retesting of the swab will be considered after they look at the Aquanita Racing inquiry report. He pointed out that they have the power to store and retest the sample at any time.
During the 2016/17 season, NSW spent about $7million on integrity measures to help uphold confidence in the sport. They collected over 22,000 swab samples and about 2,500 which was screened for the 10,000 banned substances. Note that the Racing NSW relies on Australian Racing Forensics laboratory to provide them with the intelligence on the samples collected.
If they discover any substance that is close to the threshold, they carry out surveillance on the suspected trainers. This gives them the opportunity to remain proactive and ensure that the horses are not fed on banned substances. The samples taken before and after the race is tested for the prohibited substances including cobalt, anabolic, and TCO2.
Gestel said that already the net had been cast to help capture potential cheats. It includes racing NSW intelligence and surveillance unit that raids stables and racetracks to check if any of the rules have been floated. Gestel said that he had installed brand new surveillance cameras around the racecourse and stabling areas. The inspection of the stables is done randomly to reduce chances of cheating.
Already, there is a rumor that the systematic doping in the Victorian racing could be devastating and horrific. Bicarbonate soda has an advantage in that it helps horses ran through the pain barrier and delays pain build-up. When it delays the pain caused by lactic acid, it gives the horse undue advantage.