OSRC Sets Cobalt Limits and Penalties

The thresholds and penalties will take effect April 15, the day cobalt testing begins at all Ohio racetracks.
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The Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC) adopted a resolution on March 23 which established thresholds and penalties for cobalt violations, effective April 15, the day testing begins for cobalt at all Ohio racetracks.

Cobalt is a trace mineral found in B vitamins that horses require in tiny amounts for correct functioning of their physiology. As a result, all horses will have trace amounts of the substance in their systems. However, some horsemen believe that supplementing the substance will help their horses gain a competitive advantage on the track.

The OSRC resolution states that:

  • Cobalt concentrations of less than 25 ppb (parts per billion) in blood serum or plasma will have no penalty.
  • For cobalt concentrations of 25 ppb or greater but less than 50 ppb in blood serum or plasma, the recommended penalty is a written warning.
  • For cobalt concentrations of 50 ppb or greater in blood serum or plasma, the recommended penalty is a B penalty from the Association of Racing Commissioners International’s Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances and Recommended Penalties and Model Rules Version 11.0 (for a first offence, a minimum 15-day suspension, $500 fine, and loss of purse; for a second offence, a minimum 30-day suspension, $1,000 fine, and loss of purse; and for a third offence, a Minimum 60-day suspension, $1,000 fine, loss of purse, and referred to the OSRC for further action).
  • Any cobalt concentration exceeding 250 ppb in blood serum or plasma will be referred to the OSRC for further action.
  • For cobalt concentrations of 25 ppb or greater in 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. 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

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