Duo Accused Of Doping Horse

Robert Clement, has vowed to fight charges that he doped a horse to fix the Tamworth Cup. The 47-year-old New England trainer, and a 27-year-old associate, Cody Morgan, have been charged under new NSW laws targeting corruption in sport.

Clement and Morgan allegedly fixed Prussian Secret’s victory on April 28 by “drenching” the gelding with performance-enhancing substances and Morgan is alleged to have profited from bets placed on the race, as well as receiving part of the $40,000 prize as the co-owner of the horse. The duo tried to repeat the fraud at the Gunnedah Cup but were arrested after police were tipped off by an informant.

Drenching was “a common practice” across the NSW racing industry, said NSW Detective Superintendent Ken Finch. Drenching is a process in which a tube is forced through the nostrils of a horse for administering cocktails of performance-enhancing substances. The treatments, known colloquially as “milkshakes”, often include sodium bicarbonate, which is believed to prevent the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles, allowing the horse to maintain top speed with minimal fatigue.

Finch said it is illegal to undertake that practice within 24 hours prior to a race. If it’s administered within a certain period prior to the race, it is then undetectable when the horse is subsequently tested and added this was an organized attempt to defraud the general public of NSW, who may bet on particular races.

The New England trainer Clement is also charged with firearms offenses following a police raid on his Bendemeer property but denied any role in drenching the horse. He remarked he was at a rodeo and police executed a search warrant at my place and they found some guns. Clement added now he has been charged under these new laws that he doesn’t understand, but he denies all the charges.

New sections of the state’s Crimes Act, enacted last September, aim to safeguard the integrity of sport by targeting people who cheat at gambling. The New England trainer faces up to a jail term of 20 years for corruption, plus an additional 19 years over the prohibited, an unregistered .222 rifle and ammunition found at his property. Morgan, on the other hand, faces up to a jail term of 22 years, if convicted of the charges against him.

In another development, Mahmood al-Zarooni has lodged an appeal over the eight-year Godolphin steroids ban he was handed by the British Horseracing Authority. The former Godolphin trainer who was recently disqualified for eight years after admitting to administering anabolic steroids to 15 of his horses lodged an appeal with the British Horseracing Authority over the severity of his sentence. Zarooni, who admitted to illegally importing steroids from Dubai in his luggage and giving them to the horses in his care in March, is no longer employed by Godolphin and is believed to have returned to Dubai. The appeal was lodged on the behalf of Al Zarooni by William Clegg QC, an experienced solicitor, whose most recent-high profile case was as counsel for Vincent Tabak in the Joanna Yeates murder trial in 2011.

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