Sport Racing Trainers guilty on cobalt charge

Trainers guilty on cobalt charge

The Hopes denied they had attempted to manipulate the results of races.
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Horse racing trainers Lee and Shannon Hope have been found guilty by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in Melbourne of administering cobalt to three horses last year for the purposes of affecting races.

The pair were charged after three of their horses, Windy Citi Bear, Best Suggestion and Choose, returned readings of cobalt over the legal limit.

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The father-son pair had already entered guilty pleas conceding they had given the horses the substance last year, but denied they had attempted to manipulate the results of races.

Racing Victoria stewards had argued that it was clear there was an attempt to administer the banned substance to affect performance.

The threshold for the performance-enhancing drug is 200 micrograms per litre of urine, but earlier this month the board heard three of the Hopes’ horses returned readings of 510 micrograms, 440 micrograms and 290 micrograms last year.

The board will now consider penalties, with the charges carrying a minimum three-year ban.

The Hopes’ case was one of the so-called Cobalt Five, a group of five trainers, including Peter Moody, Danny O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh, charged with doping.

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