Leading racing trainers banned for doping horses with cobalt chrloride

Joe Hall
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Melbourne Racing
Kavanagh has won the prestigious Melbourne Cup (Source: Getty)

Two top trainers have been banned from racing after their horses tested positive for doping.

Australians Danny O'Brien and Mark Kavanagh - a former Melbourne Cup winner - have been banned for four and three years respectively by local authorities for exceeding the permitted use of cobalt chloride on their horses.

The substance can be used to increase red blood cells, allowing more oxygen to carry through the body which enables a horse to perform at peak levels for longer.

Read more: Trainer Gerard Butler served with five-year ban for doping

Four horses belonging to O'Brien and one belonging to Kavanagh failed drug tests taken from urine samples in 2014.

Both men have immediately launched an appeal of the bans to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

"We've raised some real issues with how this scenario has played out over the last 12 months before Christmas," said O'Brien.

Veterinary surgeon Dr Tom Brennan has also been handed a five-year ban for similar offences.

His legal counsel Adrian Anderson said: "Tom [Brennan] is truly and profoundly sorry. He knows he has let down the stewards, his profession and the racing industry, which has been his life. He did not know about cobalt and had nothing to gain."

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