Shark Hanlon trained horse fails drug test after Galway festival win
Carlow based trainer Shark Hanlon has been handed an 18-month suspended sentence of his licence after Galway Races winner, Camlann tested positive for elevated levels of cobalt.
Camlann was victorious on day two of the festival, winning the Open Gate Pure Brew Handicap. However, a post-race sample showed that the horse had gone over the 100 (ng/ml) limit. Camlann tested at 117.
Hanlon was found to be in breach of Rule 96A which relates to the findings of prohibited substances. He was handed a €7,000 fine and ordered to pay costs of €2,000 on behalf of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.
The IHRB report said, "In his evidence Mr Hanlon stated that the horse was receiving an oral supplement which contained cobalt and vitamin B12 however it was not administered to the horse on the day of the race. He stated that he did not know the source of the adverse analytical finding and could not provide any explanation."
This is the second type of incident to occur with Hanlon after Diamond Dame tested positive for Lasix following her win at Listowel in September 2016, because of this the IHRB referrals committee stated that the 18-month suspension will be triggered alongside any other sanctions handed down.
Speaking to the Racing Post, Hanlon said"I was told the threshold is 100 [ng/ml] and that Camlann’s reading was 117."
"But I was never told there is a margin of error of 14, so he was only three over when you factor that in. I was administering four over-the-counter supplements, and I’ve noticed that two of those have since had the B12 removed."
Hanlon told the committee that Camlann had been been receiving supplements containing both cobalt and B12, however it wasn't administered on the day of the race.
Cobalt has been described as a similar substance to EPO, it exists naturally in small quantities in horses, but if injected in large quantities can increase red blood cells, thus improving metabolic efficiency.
The Carlow based trainer has not made any request for Camlann's B sample to be tested, but it is understood he will appeal the committee's decision.