A dog testing positive because of “accidental administering” is hardly a new occurrence. Back in 2009 a precedence was formed in the case involving David Righetti, who was handed an 18 month disqualification after the Dale Walker owned Thump Boxer returned a positive swab to d-amphetamine after his 20th December 2008 720m 5th grade win at Wentworth Park.
Righetti appealed the decision, based around the fact that following the race several people who had been drinking and claimed to be part owners of the dog touched and patted Thump Boxer and shook Righetti’s hand, which in turn he then touched the greyhound with. It was claimed that the drug could have been absorbed if someone had a small amount of it on his hands and allowed the dog’s mouth to have come into contact with them.
The appeal was upheld and the disqualification rescinded.
Michael Hooper was suspended only a matter of weeks ago for a positive swab containing caffeine. The reason used in this investigation was that Hooper had accidentally knocked a drink containing caffeine from its position in his vehicle, and it was his belief that the greyhound had consumed some of the drink at that time.
Then this week we saw Jason Goldsworthy receive a two year disqualification after smoking methamphetamine in the kennel address of Brian Barnsley, whilst the greyhound Rouw was present.
The GRV and GRNSW are very clear on their stance to these “accidental positives”.
Glen Canty – General Manager – Integrity, Racing and Welfare at Greyhound Racing Victoria had the following to say:
“It is the responsibility of the primary carer of a greyhound to ensure that all measures are taken to avoid a greyhound being administered, whether accidentally or not, a prohibited substance.”
“GRV encourage trainers within the sport to take care to avoid exposing their greyhounds to people or substances that could potentially cause them harm.”
Bill Fanning – GRNSW General Manager, Integrity added:
“The prohibited substance rules are absolute offences in the sense that the mere presence in a greyhound constitutes an offence, no matter how that substance entered into a greyhound’s system.”
“GRNSW encourages trainers to take measures to ensure their greyhounds are not exposed to prohibited substances.”
This will pose a problem for Brian Barnsley when he fronts the RADB on the 9th of July. Although he didn’t administer the drugs himself, he has accidentally seen a greyhound under his care exposed to a drug.
As animal welfare and drug issues in the sport continue to be a primary focus for the industry, the excuses of 2009 won’t work in 2014.
Trainers need to be mindful that all actions have consequences and that they can’t play the “blame game” when it comes to alleged accidental administration of prohibited substances to greyhounds under their care. Recent cases have shown that trainers will wear the blame and the excuse can’t be used as a defence.