A thoroughbred with champion Australian trainer Matt Laurie has tested positive for methamphetamine.
Inquiries are continuing to establish whether the positive swab in Shockaholic may have resulted from contamination from a staff member using the drug.
Stewards with Racing Victoria confirmed on Monday they had received a laboratory report confirming that methamphetamine had been detected in a urine sample collected from Shockaholic after the horse won the Echuca CIH Sales & Service Super Vobis 2-year-old Maiden Plate over 1100 metres at Echuca Racecourse on April 24.
Methamphetamine, commonly known as ice, is a stimulant and is classed as a prohibited substance under the Australian Rules of Racing.
Stewards said they were continuing their investigation, and confirmed they had collected urine samples from Laurie and his staff as part of that inquiry.
Laurie issued a statement on Tuesday, saying the report from stewards had identified an important issue for racing in respect of the use of prohibited substances by those in the industry and the potential for contamination of horses in their care.
He said his stables looked forward to the matter being fully investigated.
“There is no reason to believe that the racing industry is isolated from the prevalence of drug use in the community generally,” he said.
“However, there needs to be further debate about the appropriate response on the part of the industry generally given its potential impact on thoroughbred racing.
“The stewards’ inquiry is ongoing and no further comment is appropriate at this time.”
The outcome of the case may well increase the likelihood of routine drug testing of stable staff across the Australian industry, with unrelated methamphetamine positives in horses already recorded in Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart.