Champion horse trainer Peter Moody faces a three-year racing ban after a horse he entered in the spring racing carnival tested positive for a banned substance.
Lidari placed second in the 2014 Turnbull Stakes but a subsequent urine sample revealed the horse had elevated levels of cobalt, a banned blood-boosting drug.
Later on Wednesday it was revealed that Melbourne trainers Mark Kavanagh and Danny O’Brien have also been issued with notifications from Racing Victoria Stewards (RVS) that their horses tested positive for banned substances.
If the trainers are found guilty they each face a maximum three-year disqualification from horse racing.
Mr Moody was notified of the findings, which were confirmed by a laboratory in Hong Kong, on Tuesday.
In humans, cobalt has similar effects as the endurance drug EPO by causing the body to believe it has been deprived of oxygen. It is toxic at high dosages.
Moody said he was “devastated” in a statement.
“I have no knowledge or understanding as to how this could occur and will work with Racing Victoria Integrity Services Department to bring this matter to a conclusion as soon as possible,” he said.
“I take great pride in my role in thoroughbred racing in Victoria and strive to manage my business and support my wonderful group of owners and staff with the highest levels of honesty and professionalism.”
“I will continue to the goal over the next few months and do everything possible to clear my name.”
In a statement, Melbourne Cup winning trainer Mr Kavanagh said Racing Victoria had informed him that one of his runners had tested positive in October 2014, however he did not specify the substance.
“This has come as a complete shock to me as I have always placed great emphasis on integrity and operating within the rules of racing,” Mr Kavanagh said in a statement.
“We are, unfortunately, not the only stable in this situation.
“I am cooperating fully with the Racing Victoria Integrity Services Department to investigate how this could occur and hopefully we will resolve the matter as soon as possible.
“I have a responsibility to my valued clients and staff to run my stable in a professional manner and I believe I have always done that.”
Hearing dates are yet to be announced.
– With ABC