Mr Anthony Schembri - Inquiry Conducted

26 February 2024
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On Tuesday 20 February 2024, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an Inquiry in relation to a report from Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria that Cobalt above the threshold of 100 micrograms per litre in urine had been detected in the urine sample taken from;

  • GRENADE following its win in race 2, the PAEWAI SHEARING PACE (1900 metres) conducted at Broken Hill on Saturday 14 January 2023.

The reserve portion and control solution were confirmed by the ChemCentre in Western Australia.

Licensed Trainer Mr Anthony Schembri was present with his solicitor Mr Hammond and Mr Sheales of Counsel. Mr Schembri and HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr Martin Wainscott provided evidence to the Inquiry. In addition to the Certificates of Analysis for the subject urine sample, the results of analysis for Hygain Release feed samples obtained from Mr Schembri’s registered training establishment were also entered into evidence.

The result of analysis for a Hygain Release feed sample obtained by HRNSW Stewards provided a Cobalt level of 2.4 mg/kg and the results for a further sample of Hygain Release obtained by Mr Schembri’s solicitor provided a cobalt level of 3.1 mg/kg.

The label on the Hygain Release packaging provides for a Cobalt level of 0.5 mg/kg.

Mr Schembri pleaded guilty to a charge issued by HRNSW Stewards pursuant to the Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190 (1), (2) & (4) as follows:

AHRR 190.  (1)  A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.

(2)  If a horse is presented for a race otherwise than in accordance with sub rule (1) the trainer of the horse is guilty of an offence.

(3)  If a person is left in charge of a horse and the horse is presented for a race otherwise than in accordance with sub rule (1), the trainer of the horse and the person left in charge is each guilty of an offence.

(4)  An offence under sub rule (2) or sub rule (3) is committed regardless of the circumstances in which the prohibited substance came to be present in or on the horse.

In relation to the charge, HRNSW Stewards were satisfied that the Cobalt level recorded in the subject urine sample obtained from the horse GRENADE was as a result of the Hygain Release feed.

Consequently, pursuant to AHRR 256(6), HRNSW Stewards did not impose a penalty upon Mr Schembri and did not enter a conviction on his offence record.

Acting under the provisions of AHRR 195, GRENADE was disqualified from the abovementioned race.

Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 27 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government.

 

To arrange an interview or for further information please contact:

The HRNSW Integrity department 02 9722 6655

 

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