Mark Azzopardi Suspended Over Cocaine Metabolite Positive Stewards Inquiry

Greyhound Racing NSW has advised that an inquiry into the analysts reports that the urine sample taken from Transcend Time after that greyhound won at the Maitland meeting on 28 March this year has been confirmed to contain the prohibited substance benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine.

The stewards inquiry will be conducted at the offices of GRNSW on Wednesday 26th June 2013 commencing at 10 am.

NSW greyhound trainer Mr Mark Azzopardi has been advised that his trainer’s licence has been suspended forthwith under the provisions of GAR 92 (5) pending the conduct of the inquiry.

GRNSW has drawn criticism from industry participants over the length of the drawn out process from swab to the stewards inquiry announcement, with the Azzopardi inquiry already being common knowledge in the industry despite only officially being announced yesterday.

Azzopardi is just one leading New South Wales trainer who is rumoured to be facing pending stewards inquiries; with some inquiries still yet to be announced that stem from races even earlier than March of this year – more than six months ago.

To further undermine the integrity process, Azzopardi thumbed this nose at GRNSW stewards by transferring his kennel of greyhounds to Preston Rowles last week, ensuring the greyhounds can continue to race while Azzopardi is officially “under inquiry”. GRNSW sanctioned and approved the transfer.

Azzopardi’s kennel had been flying earlier this year with kennel star Jagger Swagger taking out he National Derby at The Gardens in February.