VIC - VRT Hearing - Ahmed Taiba

17 February 2020

On 14 February 2020, the Victorian Racing Tribunal (VRT) considered a two charges issued by Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards against licensed trainer-driver Ahmed Taiba under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1).

AHRR 190(1) reads as follows:

A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.

The first charge related to a urine sample collected from the horse ‘Ghadastar’ after it won Race 7, the ‘Hydroflow Pace’, at the Tabcorp Park Melton harness racing meeting on 3 April 2019. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported the sample contained arsenic in excess of the allowable threshold.

The second charge related to a blood sample collected from the horse ‘Nikitaras’ prior to it finishing second in Race 3, the ‘Winning Formula Pace’, at the Warragul harness racing meeting on 21 April 2019. RASL reported the sample contained a TCO2 concentration in excess of the allowable threshold.

Mr Taiba pleaded guilty to both charges before submissions on penalty were heard from the HRV Stewards and Mr Taiba.


Charge 1 – $3000 fine with $2500 suspended for a period of 12 months.

Charge 2 – 12-month suspension of all licenses, 6 months of which is suspended for a period of 12 months. The suspension was deemed to commence at midnight on 17 February 2020.

The VRT also ordered that, under AHRR 195, ‘Ghadastar’ and ‘Nikitaras’ be disqualified from their respective races and that the placings be amended accordingly. Further to that, the VRT ordered that, under AHRR 200(1), any prizemoney won by ‘Ghadastar’ and ‘Nikitaras’ from those races be refunded to HRV.

VRT Panel: Judge John Bowman (Chairman), Judge Graeme Hicks and Judge Julie Nicholson

The written decisions of the VRT can be found here.

(Please note that VRT Decisions will generally be published within 7-10 days of the date of hearing)