CHARLOTTETOWN – Charlottetown’s Marc Campbell has told The Guardian he plans to appeal his harness racing suspension.
Campbell's horse tested positive for a drug call Prednisolone, an anti-inflammatory that reduces swelling, during Old Home Week with Kellys Cross, a horse that Campbell trains out of his own stable.
Campbell said he filed his intent to appeal on Aug.29 and has eight days to carry out the appeal.
This year’s Gold Cup and Saucer winner was handed a 31 day suspension and must pay a $200 fine. Even though he has appealed his suspension, he still cannot participate in any race in Canada until that appeal is heard.
“I’m appealing the 31 day suspension and the $200 fine. I just hope they come back and say they screwed up the test and they say you can go back and race.”
The class 4 positive is for a drug call Prednisolone, an anti-inflammatory that reduces swelling.
“It’s basically like a human taking Tylenol or Advil, they go over these race tracks every day, they have aches and pains so some horses need this, but I know I didn’t or none of my workers gave it to the horse.”
He said he does not know how the horse received the drug in its system but knows he didn’t give it to the horse.
“I’ve never had it in my possession and I’ve never used it on any of my horses.”
Prednisolone, like most drugs in sports, can be given at a certain time period. Orally, a horse can be given 400 milligrams twice a day for five days but must be stopped 24 hours before the horse races. With an IV injection a horse can be given one 150-milligram shot 24 hours before a race.
“In stables medicated errors happen, am I saying I’m guilty of it? No. It could happen but I’m not sure how or when or who did it, but I’d like to find out.”
The O’Brien award winner is also worried it could be a mistake.
On two separate occasions the Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Commission has informed trainers that one of their horses tested positive for an illegal drug and after those two trainers looked into the matter, it was determined that the positive drugs were used on two other horses.
"I just hope they come back and say they screwed up the test and they say you can go back and race," - Marc Campbell
“They said it happened from mixing up afternoon races from night races. My filly raced in the afternoon, why couldn’t they screw that up? They said it was impossible, well it was possible for two other people.”
He said the commission doesn’t want to offer any help.
“You're trying to look for answers and they don’t even want to help, you might as well be talking to a two-year-old kid. We should be trying to work together not against each other.”
Paul Hogan, director of racing at the Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Commission, could not comment on the matter at this time.
But he did confirm that there has been an appeal launched on one positive test and they have received intent to appeal from another member.
Currently urine and blood samples collected from harness racing jurisdictions in the Maritimes are sent to Burnaby, British Columbia.
Campbell questioned why the samples need to be sent across the country.
“Why can’t we have one right here on P.E.I., we have one of the best vet schools in North America, wouldn’t it be cheaper then sending it to B.C.?”
Campbell, the winner of 123 races this season as a driver and just under $280,000, is also in the process of sending DNA from Kellys Cross to the lab in Burnaby to see if it matches up with the positive test sample.
“If this all comes back and Kellys Cross actually did have a positive for Prednisolone, well she did and there is not much I can do about it because somebody must have gave it to her,” said Campbell.
“I’ll have to be a big boy and take my time.”