ERA Media Release - Mr Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

The ERA Stewards opened an inquiry on Monday 19th February 2018, into the notification by the Dubai Equine Forensic Unit of two samples returning an irregularity to the prohibited substance Cobalt, from the Mr. Ibrahim Al Hadhrami trained AL MOBHER (OM) and AMEED (AE) from the following race meetings;
• AL MOBHER (OM); Al Ain on Friday 5th January 2018 - Race 5 “Shabyat Al Rawdah Maiden” (1600 metres). Found to have a concentration of cobalt in excess of 100 micrograms per litre in urine in its post-race urine sample.
• AMEED (AE); Sharjah on Saturday 13th January 2018 - Race 2 “Longines La Grande Classique” (1200 metres). Found to have a concentration of cobalt in excess of 25 micrograms per litre in plasma in its pre-race blood sample.

Evidence was taken from Mr. Ibrahim Al Hadhrami (Trainer), Mr. Ahmed Al Mazrouei (Assistant Trainer), Dr. Belinda Rose (ERA Veterinarian) and Mr. Peter Albert (Chief Analyst – Dubai Equine Forensic Unit). The following matters were established during the inquiry;
1. On Tuesday 9th January 2018, ERA Stewards were advised of the irregularity to Cobalt in respect to the post-race urine sample taken from AL MOBHER (OM).
2. As Mr. I Al Hadhrami was not available at his stables on Wednesday 10th January 2018 to be informed of the irregularity and to avoid any further irregularities to Cobalt from the stable, the Stewards notified Mr. I Al Hadhrami at the Meydan race meeting on Thursday 11th January 2018 of the sample irregularity to AL MOBHER (OM).
3. Mr. I Al Hadhrami tendered evidence that AL MOBHER (OM) returned a positive sample due to a new supplement he had commenced to use, called “OxygenSaver”. He had not sought advice from the ERA prior to using it, as he felt it was a supplement from a reputable manufacturer.
4. During the inquiry Mr. I Al Hadhrami advised Stewards that he had also commenced to use a new product on several of his horses, called “Nettex – Cobalt Selenium VIT B12”, including to a horse called AMEED (AE) which was engaged to race at Sharjah on Saturday 13th January 2018.
5. Prior to using “Nettex – Cobalt Selenium VIT B12” on his horses, he sought approval and advice from the ERA Veterinarian. The advice given was to cease using the supplement for a period of four (4) clear days prior to racing, to prevent a positive sample to Cobalt.
6. Mr. I Al Hadhrami was given the option to withdraw AMEED (AE) from Sharjah on the 13th January 2018 and advised if he decided to run the horse it was his responsibility to ensure that AMEED (AE) was presented to race free of prohibited substances.
7. AMEED (AE) raced at Sharjah on Saturday 13th January 2018, on which day a pre-race blood sample was taken for analysis.
8. On Monday 22nd January 2018, ERA Stewards were advised of an irregularity to Cobalt in respect to the pre-race blood sample taken from AMEED (AE) at Sharjah.
9. On Tuesday 23rd January 2018, the Stewards conducted an unannounced stable inspection at Bin Shahwan Stables in the presence of Mr. I Al Hadhrami, at which time he was informed of the sample irregularity to AMEED (AE).
10. On Tuesday 30th January 2018, ERA Stewards received confirmation of the presence of Cobalt above the urine threshold in the “B” sample of AL MOBHER (OM) from another ERA accredited laboratory.
11. On Monday 12th February 2018, ERA Stewards received confirmation of the presence of Cobalt above the plasma threshold in the “B” sample of AMEED (AE) from another ERA accredited laboratory.
12. Mr. I Al Hadhrami advised since being informed of the positive sample to AL MOBHER (OM), he contacted the manufacturer Figuerola who advised that they had stopped using an active ingredient in ‘OxygenSaver”, namely “Ozonex” as it can increase the level of Cobalt in horses.
13. Both supplements “OxygenSaver” and “Nettex – Cobalt Selenium VIT B12” were analysed by the Dubai Equine Forensic Unit for their respective Cobalt content;
• OxygenSaver – 0.5 grams/kilogram
• Nettex – Cobalt Selenium VIT B12 – 10 grams/kilogram
14. As the Stewards were not in a position to know what effect both of the products would have in horses in respect to Cobalt levels, they adjourned the matter to a date to be fixed until the ERA had conducted a study into the products.

Following the results of the study into the products, “OxygenSaver” and “Nettex – Cobalt Selenium VIT B12” Stewards concluded the inquiry on Sunday 27th May 2018. At this reconvened inquiry further evidence was taken from Mr. I Al Hadhrami, Mr. A Al Mazrouei, and Dr. David Craig (ERA Veterinarian). The following matters were established during the inquiry;
1. The supplement “OxygenSaver” given at the recommended, or higher, dose did not cause Cobalt levels in either urine or plasma to exceed the threshold levels as per ERA Rule 95AA.
2. The supplement “Nettex – Cobalt Selenium VIT B12” after one treatment caused the Cobalt level in both urine and plasma to exceed the threshold level as per ERA Rule 95AA.
3. “Nettex – Cobalt Selenium VIT B12” given at the doses indicated by Mr. I Al Hadhrami for a period of 10 days, resulted in the horses returning levels in both urine and plasma above the threshold levels.
4. After stopping “Nettex – Cobalt Selenium VIT B12” for the period of four (4) Clear Days as directed by the ERA Veterinarian, resulted in both the urine and plasma Cobalt levels still exceeding the threshold levels.
5. Horses only provided samples under the Cobalt threshold, 26 Clear Days after the last treatment of “Nettex – Cobalt Selenium VIT B12” was administered.
6. Written correspondence with Figuerola Laboratories the manufactures of OxygenSaver stated that “it would be illogical to assume that one product, specifically OxygenSaver, may have been the cause of such breach”.
7. Written correspondence with Nettex stated “we would strongly recommend that the product is not administered to horses at any level for any length of time. It has been formulated to meet the requirement of cattle and sheep and has not been formulated for the equine market, or researched for use in horses”.

Trainer Mr. I Al Hadhrami pleaded guilty to the following charges under the provisions of ERA Rule 95AAA 2;

Charge 1 - He presented and raced AL MOBHER (OM) in Race 5 “Shabyat Al Rawdah Maiden” (1600 metres) at Al Ain on Friday 5th January 2018, which was subsequently found, upon analysis of a post-race urine sample, to have had cobalt administered to it, as evidenced by a concentration of cobalt in excess of 100 micrograms per litre in urine.

Charge 2 - He presented and raced AMEED (AE) in Race 2 “Longines La Grande Classique” (1200 metres) at Sharjah on Saturday 13th January 2018, which was subsequently found, upon analysis of a pre-race blood sample, to have had cobalt administered to it, as evidenced by a concentration of cobalt in excess of 25 micrograms per litre in plasma.

In determining the appropriate penalty in this case, the Stewards considered a number of factors including:
• The circumstances of the offence;
• The seriousness of the offence, involving the presentation of cobalt above the threshold level;
• That Mr. I Al Hadhrami had sought advice from the ERA in regards to Nettex – Cobalt Selenium VIT B12;
• General and specific deterrence;
• The integrity and image of racing in the UAE;
• Previous penalties imposed for offences under ERA Rule 95AAA 2 in relation to cobalt;
• Mr. I Al Hadhrami’s guilty plea and record in relation to the prohibited substance rules (see below).

In relation to the matter of penalty and considering “Charge 1 – AL MOBHER (OM)” Mr. I Al Hadhrami was disqualified for a period of one (1) year. Stewards directed that the disqualification shall commence Sunday 27th May 2018 and expire midnight Saturday 26th May 2019. Considering “Charge 2 – AMEED (AE)”, the ERA Stewards accepted that the Cobalt present in the “Nettex – Cobalt Selenium VIT B12” supplement was the reason for AMEED (AE) returning a level above the plasma threshold as per ERA Rule 95AA. The Stewards were extremely critical of Mr. I Al Hadhrami for using a product that was not designed, researched or manufactured for horses, rather cattle and sheep. However, he was correct is seeking advice from the then employed ERA Veterinarian, who recommended an inaccurate withdrawal period for the product and should have notified the trainer not to use such a product. As such, no penalty was given to Mr. I Al Hadhrami in regards to Charge 2, in relation to AMEED (AE).

Pursuant to ERA 86(ii), AL MOBHER (OM) was disqualified from first place in Race 5 “Shabyat Al Rawdah Maiden” (1600 metres) at Al Ain on Friday 5th January 2018 and the placings adjusted to:

Finish Place Horse Name Trainer Jockey
1st NIZORA (FR) H Al Alawi P Cosgrave
2nd AF KHADDAA (AE) A Al Mehairbi S De Sousa
3rd GOSHAWKE (US) A Al Hammadi S Hitchcott
4th JEEMI (FR) E Lemartinel T O’Shea
5th MUSHRIF (FR) E Lemartinel G Avranche

Pursuant to ERA 86(ii), AMEED (AE) was disqualified from 15th position in Race 2 “Longines La Grande Classique” (1200 metres) at Sharjah on Saturday 13th January 2018 and placings were adjusted accordingly.

Mr. I Al Hadhrami’s record in relation to prohibited substance:
6th March 2016 was fined AED 40,000 for pleading guilty to presenting NEGMAH (OM) to the races with the prohibited substance Clenbuterol.

Relevant Rules:
Clear Day – Means a 24 hour period from 12.01 am to 12 midnight and which excludes both the day of treatment or Medication of a Horse and the day that it next Races.

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

ERA Rule 95AA – The ERA gives notice that the following substances are also deemed to be Prohibited Substances when presented above these thresholds:
* Cobalt at a mass concentration of 100 micrograms per litre in urine or 25 micrograms per litre in plasma

ERA Rule 95AAA 2 – Any Trainer or other Person in charge of a Horse, which is presented to Race or performed 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:
• Monday 19th February 2018 - Mr. Sam Shinsky (Chairman), Mr. Taylor Wilson, Mr. Adrian Sharpe and Mr. Hamad Al Shamsi
• Sunday 27th May 2018 - Mr. Sam Shinsky (Chairman), Mr. Taylor Wilson and Mr. Hamad Al Shamsi