A Queensland trainer has lost an appeal against a conviction and the severity of a 12-month disqualification on three charges relating to cobalt.
Queensland Racing Integrity Commission stewards charged Vale after cobalt above the allowable levels was detected in urine samples taken from three horses – Prince Dan at Mackay in March 2016, Reset The World at Rockhampton in March 2016, and Shepiktus at Rockhampton in March 2016.
The prohibited substance dexamethasone was also detected in a urine sample taken from Prince Dan at Rockhampton in February 2016.
Vale was fined $5000 on that charge.
An inquiry which began in March was adjourned until July.
Whenit resumed stewards were satisfied all four charges could be sustained and Vale was found guilty.
Vale then sought an internal review on all charges and penalties with the decision released on Wednesday.
QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett, on advisc from adjudicator Kane Ashby, confirmed the original decision and the penalty.
“…..The reviewer does not accept the penalty was “manifestly excessive” and finds a suspension or suspended sentence in the circumstances is not an appropriate form of punishment considering the substance and applicants past disciplinary history,” Barnett said.
“Effectively, Mr Vale is being penalised once for three separate cobalt offences. Cobalt is deemed a performance enhancing substance that provides participants with an unlevel playing field and has a detrimental effect and impact of the racing industry.”
Vale is one of Queensland’s most successful provincial trainers and had been operating on a stay.
He will now take his case to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal with the case to be heard later this year.