Veteran trainer Noel Freeman has been banned for 90 days and slapped with a $200,000 fine by the Jamaica Racing Commission after his horse, LESTERAE, returned a positive test after winning the first race at Caymanas Park on August 25 last year.
The First Instance Tribunal, delegatees of the Jamaica Racing Commission, conducted an investigation on January 28 under Section 25 of the Racing Commission Act into a report that a urine sample taken from LESTERAE after the race indicated the presence of Lidocaine, a prohibited substance under the Rules of Racing.
The split sample was subsequently analysed at the Chemistry Department of the University of the West Indies, Mona, in the presence of the referee chemist where it was confirmed that Lucocaine was present in the sample.
During the investigation, the tribunal heard evidence on behalf of the commission and evidence from Freeman; the groom, Edward Taylor, and the owner, Paul E. Campbell.
After considering the evidence, the tribunal accepted the findings of the racing chemist and imposed the suspension and fine of $200,000 on Freeman. The fine must be paid within 60 days. He was warned off all courses and other places where the Rules of Racing are in force for a period of 90 days, with effect from February 2.
Groom Taylor failed to rebut the presumption of negligence and was warmed off for 90 days as well and fined $75,000, while the owner was admonished and discharged.
Garth McBean, the commission's legal adviser, marshalled the evidence on behalf of the tribunal.