TORONTO, May 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In order to protect the integrity of horse racing in Ontario and ensure the highest standards of equine and human health and safety, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) suspended the license of Thoroughbred trainer, Robert Gerl of Palgrave, Ontario, for 20 years. The suspension is effective May 30, 2022. The AGCO also fined Mr. Gerl one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00).
The AGCO took these regulatory actions due to alleged breaches of the Thoroughbred Racing Rules involving two horses (“ARAFAT” and “KOMUNIST”) trained by Mr. Gerl, which tested positive for ostarine (enobosarm)a non-therapeutic substance
from Ontario Race rules include clear restrictions on the use of drugs or substances prohibited for horses in order to protect horses, jockeys and drivers, and to maintain the integrity of the sport. The health and welfare of the racehorse and the integrity of the races are of paramount interest to the AGCO, and it will continue to hold those who violate the rules accountable for their actions.
A dismissed participant in a horse race rendered a decision under the Race rules has the right to appeal the AGCO’s action to the Horse Racing Appeal Panel (HRAP) which is an independent decision-making body mandated to hear appeals of decisions.
“The health and welfare of racehorses and the integrity of racing are at the heart of the AGCO’s concerns. We will continue to take all appropriate measures to protect horses and maintain racing fairness. The administration of banned substances, especially non-therapeutic drugs, has nothing to do with sport, and positive test results can have serious consequences for licensees.
Tom MunghamPresident and CEO and Registrar – AGCO
Thoroughbred horses “ARAFAT” and “KOMUNIST” competed in different races at Woodbine Racecourse in October 2021, and they finished second and fourth respectively.
In keeping with its goal of promoting integrity and public confidence in horse racing in Ontario, the AGCO selects horses participating in a race to provide a post-race sample (blood) for testing. “ARAFAT” and “KOMUNIST” were selected for testing after their respective races and they both tested positive for ostarinee. In addition to post-race testing, out-of-competition testing was also performed in October 2021, confirming the presence of ostatin in a horse.
In addition to the license suspension and monetary penalty, the AGCO ordered that “ARAFAT” and “KOMUNIST” be declared not placed in their races, and their finishing order has changed. All the purses associated with these horses on the dates of the races concerned must therefore be returned to be redistributed to the other participants in these races. In addition, any horse owned or controlled in whole or in part by Mr. Gerl will not be eligible to race in Ontario.
Alleged rule violations
Thoroughbred Racing Rules
The AGCO took these regulatory actions for alleged violations of the following rules:
24.01(c) and (d) and 24.04
Guidance Directive No. 1-2018
The role of the AGCO
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) acts in the public interest to govern, direct, control and regulate horse racing in all its forms in Ontario, the operation of racetracks and the licensing to racetracks and race participants.
What we do: Horse racing
Policy Directive No. 1-2018: Guidelines – Penalties for Equine Medicines, TCO2 and Non-Therapeutic Medicine Violations | Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (agco.ca)
Horse Racing Appeal Panel (HRAP)
ABOUT THE AGCO
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is a provincial regulatory body in Ontario under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG). It is a company under the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Act, 2019.
The AGCO is responsible for regulating the alcohol, gaming, horse racing and cannabis retail sectors in Ontario in accordance with the principles of honesty and integrity and in the public interest.
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