The Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC) today adopted resolution (2016-05) which established thresholds and penalties for Cobalt violations, effective April 15, 2016, the day testing begins for Cobalt at all Ohio racetracks.
They are as follows:
- Cobalt concentrations of less than 25 ppb (parts per billion) of blood serum or plasma will have no penalty;
- For Cobalt concentrations of 25 ppb or greater but less than 50 ppb of blood serum or plasma, the recommended penalty is a written warning;
- For Cobalt concentrations of 50 ppb or greater of blood serum or plasma, the recommended penalty is a “B” penalty from the Association of Racing Commissioners International's (ARCI) “Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances & Recommended Penalties & Model Rules Version 11.0 and are as follows;
o First Offence: Minimum 15-day suspension, $500 fine & loss of purse
o Second Offence: Minimum 30-day suspension, $1,000 fine & loss of purse
o Third Offence: Minimum 60-day suspension, $1,000 fine & loss of purse & referred to the OSRC for further action;
- Any Cobalt concentration exceeding 250 ppb of blood serum or plasma will be referred to the OSRC for further action;
- For Cobalt concentrations of 25ppb or greater of blood serum or plasma, the recommended penalty includes the placement of the horse on the Veterinarian's List with removal from this list only after a blood test confirms that the Cobalt concentration is below 25 ppb of blood plasma or serum. Testing costs shall be paid by the owner(s) of the horse;
- These offenses are for any Cobalt violation in any jurisdiction within any 365 day period.
Horsemen who have recently claimed or acquired a horse are encouraged to consult their veterinarian and have their horse tested.
Dr. James Robertson, OSRC consulting veterinarian, reported on the Ohio State University (OSU) Cobalt Pilot Study, and said the Ohio Department of Agriculture Analytical Toxicology Laboratory (ODA-ATL) has completed analysis of the blood samples for plasma Cobalt concentrations.
The first publication from this study, an abstract entitled “Intravenous administration of Cobalt chloride is associated with the hemodynamic alterations in horses” will be presented at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine meeting in Denver, Colorado on June 9, 2016. Dr. Teresa Burns will present the abstract, which will be published in the meeting proceedings.
Dr. Robertson added the study has documented high levels of Cobalt chloride administered intravenously can have serious toxic effects on the cardiovascular system of a horse.
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