GWIC updates / Advisory notice: Cobalt

The Commission is concerned at the number of positive swabs still be returned for cobalt in excess of the threshold. Trainers should be mindful and avoid using products containing Cobalt close to the time of racing.

There have been eight (8) Cobalt positive swabs above the threshold of 100ng/ml in racing Calendar year 2019-2020. All participants received a minimum 12 weeks suspension for these breaches of Rule 83 (2) (a) with greyhounds testing positive, being disqualified from their races and prize-money deducted.

These positive swabs can be easily avoided by:

  • Maintaining compliance with the race-day treatment rules (R83 A)
  • Speaking to your veterinarian prior to using supplements containing Cobalt
  • Only using vitamin supplements registered for use in dogs
  • Refer to the Cobalt Fact Sheet for further information on recommended withdrawal times for supplements containing Cobalt

GWIC has instituted an “early warning” notification system where trainers with greyhounds returning Cobalt concentrations in race-day swabs above the internal threshold and approaching the 100ng/ml Rule threshold, will receive a notification letter advising them to address their supplement and husbandry routine and obtain further advice. NSW is the only state to provide this service to trainers.

It is important to understand that the majority of the racing population, a population of supplemented greyhounds, have Cobalt urine levels of <10ng/ml or 1/10th of the threshold concentration set in the Rules of 100ng/ml. Analysis of a year’s NSW greyhound samples at Racing Analytical Services laboratory (RASL) revealed that 95.5% of greyhounds had urinary Cobalt concentrations less than 10ng/ml and 99.7% were less than 100ng/ml.

This is strong evidence that the majority of NSW trainers are getting it right.

Please contact vets@gwic.nse.gov.au for any further advice.