THE Victorian Racing Tribunal has cleared former Warrnambool trainer Mitch Freedman on Thursday of any wrongdoing in his long running cobalt case determining feed contamination led to an elevated reading.
Freedman pleaded guilty to a presentation charge but his legal counsel Damian Sheales said the matter related to a feeding regime of a commercial product that contained higher levels of cobalt than advertised.
The charge, which has been hanging over Freedman's head for more than two years, related to Pearl De Vere returning a positive swab to cobalt after a race at Geelong in June 2019.
The former Russell's Creek footballer said following the hearing he wished to put the matter behind him.
Pearl De Vere recorded a reading of 111 micrograms of cobalt per litre of urine, above the 100-microgram threshold. A confirmation sample returned a reading of 130 micrograms.
The former Russell's Creek footballer, who began training in Ballarat in October 2017 after beginning his career in Warrnambool, said following the hearing he wished to put the matter behind him.
The explanation given by Freedman's legal counsel was accepted by stewards after they had previously tested the feed but Racing Victoria's lawyer Daniel Bolkunowicz pushed for a $4000 fine to Freedman as a general deterrent to the industry - that was rejected by his legal counsel.
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The VRT panel agreed with Sheales, saying no penalty would be imposed on the young trainer other than Pearl De Vere being disqualified from the race in June 2017.
Freedman had two winners at Bendigo last Sunday. He was successful with Moral Force and Perseids. Both horses have been lightly raced and appear to have promising futures.
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