Greyhound Racing New South Wales (GRNSW) will implement a new Greyhound Racing Rule that sets a maximum threshold for the presence of cobalt in racing greyhounds from 1 October 2015.
Greyhounds Australasia will introduce a urinary threshold for cobalt of 100 ng/mL within GAR 83 (10) as follows:
“Cobalt at or below a mass concentration of 100 nanograms per millilitre in a sample of urine taken from a greyhound will not breach the provisions of sub rule (1A) or (2) of this rule.”
Importantly, while this new threshold as well a raft of new rules will be implemented in all other states from 1 September 2015, they will not be implemented in NSW until 1 October 2015.
The later implementation date is due to the new rules being dependant on CEO and Board approval.
The maximum threshold for the presence of cobalt has been determined following a national population survey that measured urinary cobalt levels in 762 greyhounds sampled on race day. It has been set at a level to allow for normal amounts of cobalt supplementation through routine nutritional sources.
Trainers are advised to show extreme caution using products that contain cobalt close to racing as this may inadvertently lead to a rise in urinary cobalt levels.
In particular, the administration of certain registered vitamin supplements close to racing by injection and on multiple occasions or at larger ‘off-label’ doses may result in a level of cobalt in a subsequent sample that exceeds this threshold. Trainers are therefore advised to avoid the use of these supplements close to racing.
Examples of injectable vitamin supplements that contain cobalt and/or vitamin B12 include: V.A.M., Hemo-15, Hemoplex, Amino-lite 34X, Kynoselen, Tripart, Coforta, Folic Acid and Vitamin B-12, Dynajec and Cophos B. Various parasiticides, drenches and oral haematinics also contain cobalt.
The results from an administration study have been made available to participants to assist them to comply with the rules. Click here to view the study results.
For a current list of Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority registered products that contain cobalt or vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) visit: https://portal.apvma.gov.au/pubcris
Cobalt is a naturally occurring trace element that is normally present in greyhounds at very low levels as a result of normal dietary intake. Cobalt is also present in the structure of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin).
Excessive amounts of cobalt has an effect on the cardiovascular system (GAR 1) as a haematopoietic agent and as a hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1 stabiliser (GAR 79A(2)(xiii)) and therefore has the potential to improve athletic performance. Therefore cobalt is both a prohibited substance and permanently banned prohibited substance when present at concentrations above that which would naturally occur through routine nutritional sources.
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