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Racing body proactive

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March 03, 2018

Some of regional Victoria’s premier racetracks have been swept up in the doping scandal made public earlier this month.

Some of regional Victoria’s premier racetracks have been swept up in the doping scandal made public earlier this month.

A series of stories have appeared in the media about a small ring of trainers and industry workers involved in using an illegal sodium bicarbonate top up only minutes before racing.

Eight people, including three trainers, have already been charged with 271 counts of breaching racing’s rules.

Five others — who aren’t trainers — have also been charged for being ‘‘party to the administration of alkalizing agents and/or medications to a horse, or horses, on a race day’’.

Seymour Racing Club chief executive Penny Reeves said if those involved are tried and found guilty, they should be given a serious penalty.

‘‘I’m very pleased that none of our trainers are involved in it, and I’d hope that they wouldn’t be,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s obviously a bad look ... these sorts of things cropping up, for the image of racing. It’s a clean sport, but there are always those who will push the boundaries.’’

In a statement to The Telegraph Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula said ‘‘nobody involved in racing enjoys seeing the harm that this case is doing to racing’s image’’.

‘‘I would be much more concerned, however, had a thorough investigation not been conducted, had this evidence not been uncovered, and had charges not been laid,’’ he said.

‘‘The fact is Racing Victoria did uncover this conduct and all those allegedly involved have been charged with serious offences.

‘‘That is a credit to Racing Victoria’s integrity team and I — like all race lovers — now look forward to the RAD Board hearing those charges and punishing anyone who is found guilty.’’

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