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Waller fined after horse tests positive for party drug ice

Chris Waller: pleaded guilty to the charge
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Chris Waller, trainer of the superstar mare Winx, has been fined A$30,000 (£17,814) after a horse in his care tested positive for the party drug ice.

Ice, a form of the stimulant methamphetamine, was detected in the system of Betcha Thinking after he finished second at Canterbury in October.

Waller claimed to have no idea how his horse came into contact with ice, but speculated there could have been cross-contamination between a human and the horse.

However, as no source could be pinpointed for the contamination, Waller was charged with presenting a horse in his care to the races with a banned substance in its system and Betcha Thinking was disqualified.

Waller, who pleaded guilty to the charge at a hearing, told the Sydney Morning Herald: "I did expect [the fine] to be a bit less, but I do understand the importance of the message they've got to put across to the community and with respect of the rules.

"It does always give you a lot of concern that we don't know where it came from. Nobody knows. It's not a drug you would give a horse to make a horse run faster or slower."

He added: "How's it got there? I guess we'll find out in six to 12 months' time when it happens again and I hope like hell it's not our horse." 

Random drug testing on 30 of Waller's staff by stewards after Betcha Thinking's positive test returned five staff having banned substances in their system. Of those staff, Waller said one had been dismissed, two suspended and one had resigned.

How's it got there? I guess we'll find out in six to 12 months time when it happens again
E.W. Terms