ERA Media Release - Mr. Kahlil de Burca

The ERA Stewards opened an inquiry on Thursday 31st March 2022, into the notification by the Dubai Equine Forensic Unit (EFU) regarding the presence of Levamisole being detected in a post-race urine sample taken from AUGUSTUS CAESAR (USA), after it raced in Race 3 the “Dubai Real Estate Centre Handicap” over 1200 metres at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Saturday 12th February 2022.

Evidence was taken from Mr. Kahlil de Burca (Trainer of AUGUSTUS CAESAR (USA)), 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 Wednesday 23rd February 2022, ERA Stewards were advised of the irregularity to Levamisole in respect to the post-race urine sample taken from AUGUSTUS CAESAR (USA) at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Saturday 12th February 2022.
2. On Tuesday 1st March 2022, the ERA Stewards informed Mr. K de Burca via a visit to his stables at Green Stables at Meydan Racecourse of the sample irregularity to AUGUSTUS CAESAR (USA). Mr. K de Burca advised that all his horses are routinely treated with Levamisole after they travel, however he had stopped using the product on all his horses after his horse ARE YOU DUMB (IRE), had an adverse reaction to Levamisole and required treatment at the Dubai Equine Hospital on Wednesday 19th January 2022. Further, Stewards took samples from Mr. K de Burca’s four (4) horses located at Green Stable, which included AUGUSTUS CAESAR (USA).
3. On Tuesday 1st March 2022, Mr. K de Burca 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 Wednesday 16th March 2022, the ERA Stewards received confirmation from LCH Laboratory, France, that the presence of Levamisole was detected in the reserve urine sample of AUGUSTUS CAESAR (USA).
5. On Friday 8th March 2022, the ERA Stewards were advised from the Dubai Equine Forensic Unit that the samples taken from the day of notification, did not contain Levamisole.
6. Mr. K de Burca advised that on investigation the bottles of Levamisole provided in the UAE had a larger concentration, then the product that he uses in Europe. As a result, he had overdosed his horses when YOU ARE DUMB (IRE) was admitted to the Dubai Equine Hospital.
7. Dr. K Finn advised that Levamisole is a broad-spectrum anthelmintic drug used to control/treat internal parasites in animals and has been used in human and veterinary medicine for over 30 years. (“Another major characteristic ascribed to this drug is its immunostimulatory effects” (Miwa et al 1978)). Levamisole when found in a race-day sample is considered to be a prohibited substance. The ERA advised Mr. K de Burca to use a five (5) clear day withholding period and was further advised that it is considered to be an unregistered drug in the UAE. Levamisole is metabolized into several metabolites within the horse, one in particular “aminorex”. The ERA would classify Levamisole as a therapeutic substance. Dr. K Finn added that if AUGUSTUS CAESAR (USA) stopped receiving Levamisole on Wednesday 19th January 2022, the drug should have no longer been present in the sample taken on Saturday 12th March 2022.

Trainer Mr. K de Burca pleaded guilty to a charge under the provisions of ERA Rule 95AAA 2, in that he presented and raced AUGUSTUS CAESAR (USA) in Race 3 the “Dubai Real Estate Handicap” over 1200 metres at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Saturday 12th February 2022, which was subsequently found, upon analysis of a post-race urine sample, to have had Levamisole administered to it, a prohibited substance under the ERA Rules of Racing.

In determining an appropriate penalty, the Stewards considered a number of factors including:
• The circumstances of the offence;
• The seriousness of the offence, involving the presentation of Levamisole in a race-day sample;
• General and specific deterrence;
• The integrity and image of racing in the UAE;
• Mr. K de Burca’s guilty plea.

Considering these circumstances, Mr. K de Burca was issued a fine of AED 40,000.

Pursuant to ERA 86(ii), AUGUSTUS CAESAR (USA) was disqualified from 12th place of Race 3 the “Dubai Real Estate Centre Handicap” over 1200 metres at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Saturday 12th February 2022, and the placings amended.

Mr. K de Burca 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 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, and Mr. Rashid Alblooshi.