Ontario Horse Trainer Banned for 20 Years

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The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has banned a local horse trainer for 20 years due to violations of the Rules of Thoroughbred Racing.

Once again, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has demonstrated its willingness to be the watchdog of the local horseracing industry. The regulator announced earlier this week that it revoked the licence of Robert Gerl, a thoroughbred trainer from Palgrave, for a period of 20 years and additionally fined him CA$100,000.   

The sanction concerns alleged violations of Rules of Thoroughbred Racing involving two horses, Arafat and Komunist. The horses trained by Gerl have both tested positive for ostarine, a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM). Ontario’s racing rules strictly prohibit drugs such as ostarine and other SARMs.

Enforced Long-Term Suspension

The AGCO has put the health and wellbeing of the racehorses as its top priority to safeguard the integrity of the sport. Therefore, the regulator will continue to hold individuals who fail to abide by the provincial regulations liable for their actions, with Gerl being no exception.

As a licensed horseracing specialist, Gerl has the right to appeal AGCO’s decision to ban him from racing activities for the next 20 years and slap him with a fine of CA$100,000. Gerl’s suspension commenced on 30 May 2022. A potential appeal would be heard by the Horse Racing Appeal Panel, an independent adjudicatory body tasked with assessing appeals on decisions.

Thoroughbreds Arafat and Komunist participated in separate races at the Woodbine Racetrack in October 2021, where they finished second and fourth, respectively. To protect the integrity of the sport, the AGCO randomly selects horses from various races to provide a post-race testing sample. Both horses were chosen, and both tested positive for ostarine.

On top of the suspension of Gerl’s licence and the imposed monetary fine, the AGCO mandated that both horses be declared unplaced in their races and for their order of finish to be altered. All purse money generated by the two fillies from the affected races must be returned for reallocation to other participants from the said races.

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