The Australian Broadcasting Company's program 7:30 last night broadcast a program (you can see the report here) revealing a major scandal at the raceways in New South Wales. It seems up to now, not every race horse was tested ('swabbed') after they won. As a result a couple of corrupt stewards, worked with some trainers, drivers, and syndicate gamblers and let them know if they were scheduled to be tested for drugs the next race day.
Well, needless to say, trainers who knew they were not going to be tested for drugs the next day took advantage of the situation and drugged their horses. When informed they were going to be tested, the trainers obviously didn't use performance enhancing drugs. In addition, certain gamblers were made aware of which horses were racing with performance enhancing drugs and they made a killing.
Of course, it was a small number of people involved, but imagine the damage these people have done to racing in New South Wales, all in the name of making a profit. Who knows what the damage will be to harness racing, and more importantly the hardworking honest people in the industry? Jail time may be awaiting some, but that likely be of little solace to the hardworking people in the industry in Australia who find their industry further marginalized.
Thankfully, we have not seen anything like this in North America. Racing must remain ever vigilant looking out for cheaters as it takes only one scandal like this one to kill an entire industry. In NSW, they are changing the rules to require all winners to be tested and racing goes on, but the damage has been done. There will be a segment of their wagering population which will not return and that is one thing North American racing can not afford, to lose customers. There are few enough already.
Update: Owner is banned for not handing over phone records.