Warwick Farm trainer suspended over Covid-19 positive test

Warwick Farm trainer John Sharah has been suspended for nine months after pleading guilty to two conduct charges issued against him relating to a positive Covid-19 test.

Sharah was charged with “conduct prejudicial to the interests of racing” for breaching Racing NSW Covid-19 protocols and policies by attending trackwork on July 29 after displaying Covid-19 like symptoms.

He was also charged with a “breach of Racing NSW policy” for not self-isolating and awaiting his test results after having a Covid-19 test.

Evidence taken during the inquiry established that Sharah was tested for Covid-19 on July 29 after displaying Covid-19 like symptoms the day prior.

His horses were located in the Campbelltown Local Government Area (LGA) which had been placed into lockdown on July 28.

On July 30, Sharah again attended Warwick Farm racecourse for trackwork. Later that day he was “advised by NSW Health that his Covid-19 test had returned positive to Covid-19”.

The trainer “immediately contacted Racing NSW to advise of the test result and identified racing industry participants with whom he had been in close contact”.

When handing down the penalty stewards’ noted Sharah’s conduct had the potential “to compromise continuance of the NSW thoroughbred racing during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Stewards issued 12-month penalties on both charges, ruling they be served concurrently before reducing the penalty to nine months, factoring in Sharah’s “guilty plea and mitigating factors”.

Sharah’s suspension commenced on August 16 and he is free to resume his training career on May 16.

Originally published asSydney trainer suspended for Covid breach

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