ERA Media Release - Mr Ahmed Al Shamsi

On Monday 22 April, 2019 the Emirates Racing Authority Stewards inquired into a report received from the Dubai Equine Forensic Unit, that the prohibited substance cobalt, above the permitted threshold, was detected in a post-race urine sample taken from NICE FUTURE (IRE) at Al Ain racecourse on Saturday 16 March, 2019 after finishing 12th in race 2, Al Muwaiji Handicap (2600m).

Evidence was taken from Mr Ahmed Al Shamsi (Trainer of NICE FUTURE (IRE)), Dr David Craig (ERA Veterinarian) and Mr Jahfar Nalakath (Chief Analyst - Dubai Equine Forensic Unit).

It was established:
1. The Dubai Equine Forensic Unit reported to the ERA on Sunday 24 March, 2019 a level of cobalt above the permitted threshold, in the post-race urine sample taken from NICE FUTURE (IRE) at Al Ain racecourse on Saturday 16 March, 2019.
2. The ERA Stewards and Veterinarian conducted a stable inspection at Al Shamsi Stables, Ajman, on Tuesday 26 March, 2019 to notify trainer Mr Al Shamsi of the irregularity, inspect the stables and obtain permission for the reserve portion of the sample to be tested at an overseas laboratory for confirmatory analysis. During this stable inspection a blood sample was taken from NICE FUTURE (IRE) for analysis of cobalt.
3. The Dubai Equine Forensic Unit reported to the ERA on Thursday 28 March, 2019 that the level of cobalt in the out-of-competition blood test taken from NICE FUTURE (IRE) on Tuesday 26 March, 2019 was below the permitted threshold.
4. The ERA was notified on Wednesday 10 April, 2019 by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Racing Laboratory that the reserve sample taken from NICE FUTURE (IRE) had also tested positive to cobalt at a level above the permitted threshold.
5. Mr Al Shamsi could offer no explanation as to how the cobalt level in NICE FUTURE (IRE) exceeded the permitted threshold.
Mr Al Shamsi was found guilty to a charge under ERA Rule 95AAA 2, in that on Saturday 16 March 2019, as the licenced trainer of NICE FUTURE (IRE) he presented that horse to compete in race 2 at Al Ain racecourse in the Al Muwaiji Handicap (2600m) where it was subsequently found to have had administered to it the prohibited substance cobalt, as evidenced by analysis of a post-race urine sample.

In determining penalty Stewards took notice of a number of factors including that Mr Al Shamsi has been licenced as a Trainer in the UAE for 12 seasons, Mr Al Shamsi had previously breached the prohibited substances Rules in January 2010, as well as the need for a penalty to include a deterrence factor designed to act as a warning to both Mr Al Shamsi and other Trainers in the UAE that positive samples will not be tolerated by the ERA.

Taking into account the circumstances of the case, Mr Al Shamsi was disqualified for a period of 12 months, to commence midnight Monday 22 April, 2019 and to expire midnight Wednesday 22 April, 2020.

In accordance with ERA Rule 86 (ii) NICE FUTURE (IRE) was disqualified from its position in the Al Muwaiji Handicap at Al Ain racecourse on Saturday 16 March, 2019, with subsequent placings amended.

Relevant Rules

86 (ii) Where any declared runner has been the subject of an examination under Rules 8(vi) and or (vii) and has been found to have received any Prohibited Substance, the Horse shall be disqualified from that Race and from other Races as the ERA determines.

95AAA 2. Any Trainer or other Person in charge of a Horse, which is presented to Race or perform a Test, or has Raced or performed a Test which is found (upon analysis) to have had administered to it a Prohibited Substance, shall be liable to a Penalty.

Stewards Panel: Mr Taylor Wilson (Chairman), Mr Samuel Shinsky & Mr Ajay Anne