ERA Media Release - Mr Erwan Charpy

The ERA Stewards opened an inquiry on Friday 8th April 2022, into the notification by the Dubai Equine Forensic Unit (EFU) regarding the presence of Arsenic being detected in a post-race urine sample taken from MAKASHI (FR), after it raced in Race 2 the “Now Or Never Maiden” over 1600 metres at Meydan Racecourse on Sunday 6th February 2022.

Evidence was taken from Mr. Erwan Charpy (Trainer of MAKASHI (FR)), Dr. Kieran Finn (ERA Regulatory Veterinarian) and Dr. Michael Subhahar (Chief Analyst – Dubai Equine Forensic Unit). The following matters were established during the inquiry;
1. On Tuesday 15th February 2022, ERA Stewards were advised of the irregularity to Arsenic in respect to the post-race urine sample taken from MAKASHI (FR) at Meydan Racecourse on Sunday 6th February 2022.
2. On Tuesday 15th February 2022, the ERA Stewards informed Mr. E Charpy via a visit to his stables at Green Stables at Meydan Racecourse of the sample irregularity to MAKASHI (FR). Mr. E Charpy was unable to advise on how MAKASHI (FR) returned a level of Arsenic above the international threshold of 300 microgram/litre in urine, as he had not used the product or any product containing Arsenic for over 15 years. Further his medical logbook records and inspection of the feed and medical room, failed to identify any products that would contain Arsenic. Stewards obtained a sample of oil given to his horses as well as two different wood shavings, from locally sourced suppliers, “Nejoum” and “Alraeesi”.
3. On Tuesday 15th February 2022, Mr. E Charpy 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 Monday 14th March 2022, the ERA Stewards received confirmation from the HKJC Laboratory, that the presence of Arsenic was detected in the reserve urine sample of MAKASHI (FR), over the international threshold of total Arsenic in urine.
5. On Wednesday 23rd February 2022, the ERA Stewards were advised from the Dubai Equine Forensic Unit that the samples taken from the day of notification, did contain Arsenic, with the wood shavings from “Nejoum” displaying significant levels.
6. The ERA Stewards obtained further samples from two different bags of Nejoum wood shavings for further analysis, which also returned with significant levels of Arsenic when analysed by the Dubai Equine Forensic Unit.
7. Due to the significant levels of Arsenic being detected in the wood shavings and that “Nejoum” wood shavings were one of the available products being supplied by the Dubai Racing Club (DRC) to their Trainers, the ERA issued a letter to the DRC advising them of the issue. Accordingly, the DRC removed all the remaining bags of “Nejoum” wood shavings from Mr. E Charpy’s yard.
8. Mr. E Charpy tendered evidence that he raised his concern of the quality of the “Nejoum” wood shavings to the DRC procurement department. Further due to a limited supply of “Alraeesi” wood shavings during late January to early February, he was only supplied with “Nejoum” wood shavings.
9. Dr. Finn advised that Arsenic is a trace mineral found in nature and always present in the body, explaining why a threshold level exists in the Rules to account for natural levels found in all samples, that Arsenic levels above the threshold must be due to either ingestion or treatment of Arsenic to the horse, and at very high levels Arsenic can commence to be toxic to horses. Further, at extreme levels Arsenic can be fatal. The ERA have a 5 clear day withholding on therapeutic products that contain Arsenic.
10. Dr. Finn and Dr. Subhahar concurred that the level detected in the “Nejoum” shavings was abnormally high and a plausible cause for the elevated level of Arsenic being detected in the post-race urine sample taken from MAKASHI (FR).

Trainer Mr. E Charpy pled guilty to a charge under the provisions of ERA Rule 95AAA 2, in that he presented and raced MAKASHI (FR) in Race 2 the “Now Or Never Maiden” over 1600 metres at Meydan Racecourse on Sunday 6th February 2022, which was subsequently found, upon analysis of a post-race urine sample, to have had Arsenic administered to it, as evidenced by a concentration of Arsenic in excess of 300 microgram/litres in urine.

In determining an appropriate penalty, the Stewards considered a number of factors including:
• The circumstances of the offence; that the Stewards were satisfied that the cause of the Arsenic being found in MAKASHI (FR) was due to the wood shavings being used at the Stable being contaminated.
• Mr. E Charpy’s guilty plea.

As such, no penalty was given to Mr. E Charpy.

Pursuant to ERA 86(ii), MAKASHI (FR) was disqualified from fifth place in Race 2, the “Now Or Never Maiden” over 1600m at Meydan Racecourse on Sunday 6th February 2022, and the placings were adjusted to:

Finish Place Horse Name Trainer Jockey
1st ONE IDEA (GB) Doug Watson Andrea Atzeni
2nd LAKE CAUSEWAY (USA) Bhupat Seemar Tadhg O’Shea
3rd BAWADI SPIRIT (GB) Doug Watson Patrick Dobbs
4th KHABAAB (IRE) Rashed Bouresly Fernando Jara
5th BENMALEK (IRE) Bhupat Seemar Saif Al Balushi (App)

Mr. E Charpy was advised of his rights of appeal.

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 95AA – The ERA gives notice that the following substances are also deemed to be Prohibited Substances when present above these thresholds:
• Arsenic – 0.3 micrograms total arsenic per millilitre in urine.

ERA Rule 95AAA 2 – Any Trainer or other Person in charge of a Horse, which is presented to Race or perform a Test, or has Raced or performed a Test which is found (upon analysis) to have had administered to it a Prohibited Substance, shall be liable to a Penalty.

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, Mr. Rashid Alblooshi and Mr. Dhahi Al-Jallaf.