Racing NSW Stewards this morning attended the Hawkesbury and Royal Randwick training centres and conducted testing of licensed stable employees for banned substances under the Rules of Racing.

At the stable premises of a Royal Randwick trainer, urine samples were taken from a number of stablehands. This was the first occasion in Australian racing that non-rider stablehands have been randomly tested for the presence of banned substances.

Rules were put in place by Racing NSW earlier this year following the inadvertent contamination of a racehorse by a stablehand who had contact with cocaine.

In recent months an extensive educational program has been conducted by Stewards aimed at alerting stablehands to the requirements of the new drug testing rules. This program has included stable visits by stewards and the issue of educational material.

At Hawkesbury this morning a number of licensed employees were also tested including eight female stablehand riders.

All trainers involved were supportive of the Racing NSW polices in respect to stable staff and banned substances. Testing will continue randomly at training centres and licensed stables throughout New South Wales.

Racing NSW Media Release Published 16/05/06