ERA Media Release - Mr Erwan Charpy

The ERA Stewards opened an inquiry on Thursday 25th June 2020, into the notification by the Dubai Equine Forensic Unit that the post-race urine sample taken from MURRAY RIVER (USA) after competing in Race 3 “Emirates NBD Handicap” over 1950 metres at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Friday 21st February 2020, had returned an irregularity to the prohibited substance Methocarbamol. Further, the inquiry addressed the request from the ERA Stewards for the medical records for all horses present in Green Stable for season 2019/20.

During the inquiry evidence was taken from Mr. Erwan Charpy (Trainer of MURRAY RIVER (USA)), Dr. Kieran Finn (ERA Regulatory Veterinarian) and Dr. Michael Subhahar (Chief Analyst – Dubai Equine Forensic Unit). The following matters were established;
1. On Sunday 1st March 2020, the ERA Stewards were advised of the irregularity to Methocarbamol in respect to the post-race urine sample taken from MURRAY RIVER (USA).
2. On Monday 2nd March 2020, Mr. E Charpy was notified of the irregularity in the sample taken from MURRAY RIVER (USA) via an official stable visit at his Green Stables. Mr. E Charpy stated that MURRAY RIVER (USA) was receiving Methocarbamol orally on a routine basis, the last day of administration was on Sunday 15th February 2020, which was also evidenced by the tendered medical history for MURRAY RIVER (USA).
3. During the stable visit, Mr. E Charpy further advised that he wished to exercise his right to have the reserve portion of the sample analysed by another accredited racing laboratory in accordance with ERA Rule 95D(ii).
4. On Friday 22nd May 2020, the ERA Stewards received confirmation from LCH the laboratory in France, that the presence of Methocarbamol was detected in the “B” urine samples from MURRAY RIVER (USA).
5. Evidence was tendered by Dr. K Finn that Methocarbamol is a centrally acting muscle relaxant. It is used on horses that have acute inflammatory conditions affecting the skeletal muscles, to reduce pain associated with muscle spasms. It acts on the nervous and musculoskeletal system and when present in a race-day sample is considered to be a prohibited substance under the ERA Rules of Racing. Methocarbamol is a therapeutic agent, however with its sedative effect could be performance altering.
6. The latest edition of the ERA therapeutic drug with holding times, amended and released to trainers on Sunday 3rd November 2019, recommends a withdrawal time of 10 clear days for any horse that has been administered Methocarbamol orally, prior to racing.
7. Mr. E Chapry advised that he allowed for a withdrawal period of five (5) clear days, as the advice given by the Dubai Equine Hospital Veterinarian, Dr. Fred Van Der Linde was four (4) clear days. Mr. E Chapry acknowledged that he had also mistook the ERA therapeutic drug withholding times and followed the suggestion of four (4) clear days.
8. Evidence was tendered by Dr. M Subhahar that the sample provide by MURRAY RIVER (USA) returned a low level of Methocarbamol.
9. Medical records from Green Stable stated that MOQARRAR (USA) was nebulized with Immuno-San on Thursday 28th November 2019, the day before competing at Jebel Ali on Friday Friday 29th November 2019. Further that MURRAY RIVER (USA) was nebulized with Immuno-San on Thursday 20th February 2020, the day before competing at Jebel Ali on Friday 21st February 2020.
10. Immuno-San contains the ingredient “Camphora” and as advised by Dr. M Subhahar, “Camphora” is considered to be a prohibited substance.

Trainer Mr. E Charpy pled guilty to a charge under the provisions of ERA Rule 95AAA 1(b), in that he caused Methocarbamol to be administered to MURRAY RIVER (USA) prior to the gelding racing at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Friday 21st February 2020, in Race 3 “Emirates NBD Handicap” over 1950 metres, which was detected in a post-race urine sample.

In determining an appropriate penalty, the Stewards considered a number of factors including:
• The circumstances of the offence;
• The seriousness of the offence, involving a therapeutic prohibited substance;
• Administration, orally, of a prohibited substance;
• General and specific deterrence;
• The integrity and image of racing in the UAE;
• Mr. E Charpy’s forthright evidence and that the administration of Methocarbamol was documented in his medical records.
• Mr. E Chapry’s guilty plea and record in relation to the prohibited substance rules (see below).

Mr. E Charpy was fined the sum of AED 40,000.

Pursuant to ERA 86(ii), MURRAY RIVER (USA) was disqualified from fourteenth (14th) position in Race 3 “Emirates NBD Handicap” over 1950 metres at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Friday 21st February 2020, and the placings adjusted accordingly.

Additionally Mr. E Charpy pled guilty to a charge under the provisions of ERA Rule 95AAA 7, in that he used a face mask and administered the prohibited substance “Camphora” to MOQARRAR (USA) the day before racing at Jebel Ali Racecourse in Race 6 “Emirates NBD Handicap” over 1600 metres on Friday 29th November 2019.

Mr. E Charpy was fined the sum of AED 2,000.

Further Mr. E Charpy pled guilty to a charge under the provisions of ERA Rule 95AAA 7, in that he used a face mask and administered the prohibited substance “Camphora” to MURRAY RIVER (USA) the day before racing at Jebel Ali Racecourse in Race 3 “Emirates NBD Handicap” over 1950 metres on Friday 21st February 2020.

Mr. E Charpy was fined the sum of AED 2,000.

Mr. E Charpy’s record in relation to prohibited substances:
• ONE BY THE KNOWS (USA); December 2002 found to have Phenylbutazone and Oxyphenbutazone. Penalty AED 5,000.
• DJELMIDOR (FR); February 2003 found to have Methylprednisolone. Penalty AED 7,500.
• MURRAY RIVER (USA); March 2020 found to have Cimetidine. No penalty recorded, concluded to be environmental contamination.

Relevant Rules:
ERA 86(ii) – Where any declared runner has been the subject of an examination under the Rules 8(vi) and or (vii) and has been found to have received a Prohibited Substances, the Horse shall be disqualified from the Race and from other Races as the ERA determines.

ERA Rule 95AAA 1 – Any Person shall be liable to Penalty if:
(b) They administer or cause to be administered any Prohibited Substance which is detected in any Sample taken pursuant to Rule 8(vii) from any Horse prior to or following any Race, or Test

ERA Rule 95AAA 7 – A Person shall not attempt to use, or use an atomizer, face mask or other device for the administration of Prohibited Substances to a Horse nominated for a Race or event within one (1) Clear Day of the commencement of the Race or event.

ERA Rules 95D(ii) – Upon the detection by an Accredited Racing Laboratory of a Prohibited Substance in the Sample from a Horse, such laboratory shall notify its finding to the Stewards, who shall then notify the Trainer of the Horse of such finding and give him the option to have the reserve portion of the Sample Tested at another ERA-approved Accredited Racing Laboratory. The Trainer will have 3 days to notify the Stewards of such requirement. A refusal by the Trainer to Test the reserve portion of the Sample shall not prevent the Stewards from having the reserve portion of the Sample Tested.

Stewards Panel:
Mr. Sam Shinsky (Chairman), Mr. Taylor Wilson and Mr. Ajay Anne.