Statement from the Racing Integrity Board
On 14 May 2021 as part of its normal drug testing process the RIU tested riders at a race meeting in Invercargill. The screening test used on that day was the same test used on every occasion since testing commenced and is the same test used in other organisations who undertake drug screening of this type.
The tests for two riders, Jason Laking and Corey Campbell, returned non-negative results which indicated the presence of a prohibited substance. On this occasion, as had been the case with previous non-negative results, the riders were stood down from racing for the remainder of the day, in the interests of safety.
Subsequent analysis determined that there was no unlawful substance in the samples of the two riders. To be clear, the screening test was wrong and the riders were cleared of any wrongdoing whatsoever.
There had not been a previous example, in the RIU environment, where a screening result was proved to be wrong by the subsequent ESR analysis.
A thorough investigation was conducted to determine what occurred to ensure that the chance of it happening again could be eliminated. It was determined that the raceday procedures, including the screening, were carried out as expected, against well established protocols, and that the non-negative result was attributable to a very small margin of error in the testing equipment.
Options were considered by the RIB Board in August 2021 and a decision made that the drug screening test will no longer be relied upon to determine the suitability of a rider to continue riding. From this point on, the riders will be selected for testing, and in the case of drug testing, a sample will taken and forwarded for analysis by the ESR. Any positive results will be actioned when the RIB is formally advised.
The alcohol screening processes are not affected by this change and will continue as previously,with riders determined to be under the influence of alcohol to an extent that they are a potential danger to themselves and others, stood down for the day.
NZ Jockeys’ Association Executive Officer Andrew Lacy said he was pleased to see the RIB has put their hand up and admitted the error and were changing the protocols for testing going forward. “It has been a very stressful time for both Jason and Corey and their families and I’m pleased to see them completely exonerated and have their names cleared”