YANGERY trainer Jarrod McLean has been disqualified for six months on a horse-doping charge.
McLean cast a disconsolate figure after the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) yesterday fined him $2000 and outed him from training until after next year’s May Racing Carnival — his most important week on the calendar.
McLean pleaded guilty to a charge of running Prymslea with a prohibited substance in its system in a restricted race over 1800 metres at Mildura on August 30.
Prymslea was found to have a TC02 (bicarb) reading above the permissable level of 36 millimoles per litre of plasma.
Two other charges relating to the doping were dropped by Racing Victoria stewards after he pleaded guilty to two other charges.
He received the fine for failing to keep records for a year of any treatment administered to horses in his care.
The 33-year-old, who has enjoyed the best season of his 10-year training career, was devastated after the hearing at Racing Victoria headquarters in Flemington.
“The decision is very disappointing not only for me and my family but for six full-time workers at my stable,” McLean said.
“I just think the penalty is severe for the crime.
“I’ll have to go back and get a job as a chef, which is my trade, but I’m not sure what will happen with my workers. I’ve got a few things to work out as I was not expecting a six-month disqualification.”
McLean’s disqualification, which begins next Tuesday, means he cannot go to any licensed premises, including racetracks or stables.
“It’s going to be really tough as racing has been my life for so many years but I will just have to adjust to it,” he said.
“It’s tough also because we had some really good horses in my stable.”
Patrick Wheelahan, counsel for McLean, said an application would be made for Warrnambool trainer Mitch Freedman to take over the 30 horses in McLean’s stables.
“Mitch has a restricted trainer’s licence,” he said.
“We hope the stewards will upgrade Mitch’s licence to a general purpose licence.
“We are hopeful that the stewards will tick off the plan we wish to put in place, as it will mean six people will still keep their jobs.”
McLean has until December 31 to pay the $2000 fine.
Retired County Court judge Russell Lewis, who chaired the RADB hearing, said the industry had “a public perception for the image of racing to live up to” and believed the six-month ban was appropriate.