Australia: Stewards ban trainer before cobalt hearing

Australia: Racing NSW stewards have taken the unusual step of suspending trainer Sam Kavanagh’s licence before his hearing next month as the cobalt saga that has rocked Australian racing took a dramatic twist on Thursday.

Kavanagh received a preliminary ban over multiple positive tests involving cobalt, which has similar effects to the blood doping drug EPO, and caffeine.

The trainer’s Midsummer Sun tested positive to the banned substances before winning the Gosford Gold Cup in January and the same horse and two stablemate were also found to have received race-day treatment.

“Stewards formed the opinion that Mr Kavanagh’s continued participation in racing might pose an unacceptable risk to, prejudice or undermine the image, interests or integrity of racing,” a stewards’ statement read.

Kavanagh’s father Mark is among a number of trainers under investigation by Racing Victoria for elevated cobalt readings.

In March, Darren Smith has become the first trainer to be banned from for cobalt use after being handed down a 15-year disqualification.


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