North Queensland trainer Glen Baker has been disqualified for two years after one of his horses returned illegal cobalt levels following a Doomben win.
Stewards handed down their findings on Tuesday into Baker’s case after receiving two sets of written submissions from the trainer’s legal team.
Baker fronted stewards on May 6 and was charged with presenting French Lesson for a race at Doomben on January 31 with excess cobalt levels.
After hearing the charges, Baker gained an adjournment to get legal advice.
He pleaded not guilty through his lawyer when the inquiry resumed as stewards considered further written submissions.
Chief steward Alan Reardon said his panel could not be satisfied that a feeding and treatment regime leading up to French Lesson’s win was responsible for the elevated cobalt levels.
In handing out a two-year disqualification, Reardon said Baker’s actions had the potential to compromise the health and welfare of French Lesson and had a negative impact on horse racing.
Reardon said French Lesson’s cobalt levels were detected at 790 micrograms per litre and 846 micrograms per litre, well in excess of the 200 micrograms per litre threshold.
He said there was a need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent.
Baker’s ban will start on Monday.
French Lesson has been was disqualified as the winner of the race.