Cobalt is a prohibited substance under the Australian Rules of Racing. However, it is a naturally occurring trace element which may be present in horses at very low levels. Unlike other substances, the Australian Rules of Racing do not have a cobalt threshold level and prosecutions have therefore not occurred where cobalt has been detected in horses.
Racing Victoria gives notice that it has introduced a threshold level for cobalt. The threshold level is 200 micrograms per litre in urine. The threshold level complements the Australian Rules of Racing and facilitates action being taken following the detection of high levels of cobalt in horses. A breach of the prohibited substance rules will be prosecuted if a sample taken from a horse either on race day or out of competition is above the cobalt threshold.
The cobalt threshold has been introduced to protect both the integrity of racing and the welfare of horses and riders.
The new cobalt rule and threshold is effective in Victoria on and from 14 April 2014.
Download the full notice here.