Robert Blakely A “No Show” At Caffeine Positive Inquiry

New South Wales GHRRA Stewards have just advised of a concluded an Inquiry into the positive finding of Caffeine and its metabolites in the urine sample taken from the Robert Blakely trained Juju Magoo when it competed at Dapto on the 24th July 2008.

On the day in question Juju Magoo won her very first race after twelve attempts attempts and ran just .24 of a second off the best of the day winning by 5.5 lengths. Now racing in South Australia, Juju Magoo has won just once race since from a further thirteen starts.

NSW GHRRA stewards opened on the 17th September 2008 where evidence was taken from Mr. Robert
Blakely and ARFL (Australian Racing Forensic Labaoratory) Analyst Andrew Vadasz.

During the taking of evidence Mr Blakely stated the presence of Caffeine could have been caused by ingestion of Palastart Blue Milk Powder Replacement. The milk powder had been at the centre of at least one positive swab to caffeine in Queensland and prompted Greyhounds Queensland to issue a warning to trainers regarding the milk powder as a possible source of positive swabs. No such warning hs been forthcoming from any other state regulatory authority.

To deteremine Blakely’s claims, NSW GHRRA Stewards obtained two samples of Palastart Blue Milk Powder, from both Mr. Blakely and a unopened pack from the retailer to have tested by the ARFL, which conclusively proved on analysis to not be the source of the finding of Caffeine.

As the drugs were easily detectable, Mr. Vadasz stated that in his opinion the drug was administered within 24 hours of the greyhound competing.

The Inquiry was subsequently adjourned by the Stewards and re set for the 10th November 2008 where Mr. Blakely failed to attend.

Robert Blakely was charged with a breach of Rule 83(2)(a) in that he failed to present Juju Magoo for racing, drug free and GHRRA Stewards were forced to enter a plea of Not Guilty on Blakely’s behalf.

Not surpisingly, in Blakely’s absence and after considering all evidence, GHRRA Stewards found him Guilty.

Due to Blakely’s absence GHRRA Stewards again adjourned and re-convened the inquiry on the 11th December 2008, at which time Mr. Blakely attended and Stewards after consideration on the matter of penalty disqualified Mr. Blakely for a period of six months commencing from the 11th December 2008.

According to GHRRA Stewards, the following factors carried weight in the Stewards’ decision:

  • (1) Evidence from ARFL Analyst Andrew Vadasz
  • (2) Any penalty imposed must act as a deterrent

Juju Magoo was disqualified as the winner of the race.