Greyhound Racing South Australia (GRSA) has today cancelled the registration of its leading trainer indefinitely as the result of complaints from GRSA staff against the trainer.
GRSA officially acknowledged the unprecedented decision this afternoon over a matter that has its origins in a stewards inquiry into leading S.A trainer, Shaun Matcott’s alleged behaviour towards kennel attendants at Angle Park.
It had been alleged that Matcott had used improper, insulting or offensive language towards these officials whom are all employees of GRSA and under their care.
GRSA had arranged for an independent investigation to be conducted in relation to these allegations. After the completion of the investigation, a report had been prepared and presented to the GRSA board members for their consideration.
As such, GRSA announced today that after consideration of the report and the information provided; Matcott’s registration as a trainer has been immediately cancelled. GRSA is allowing a number of greyhounds nominated under Matcott’s name over the coming days to compete, with the condition that all greyhounds are transferred to a different trainer by 9am Monday 14th October 2013.
Matcott is still restricted from attending any registered tracks whether it is for the purposes of greyhound racing or otherwise until further notice.
While the circumstances surrounding the investigation have not yet been clarified, CEO Matt Corby has explained the reasons for Matcott’s cancellation to Australian Racing Greyhound
“As a company, we can elect to cancel the registration of a participant based on what we deem to be observing our requirements as an employer that’s putting the interests of its staff as a priority”, Corby stated.
“As far GRSA is concerned, we have taken an action that reflects our position on the matter. Right now that’s the decision that the board has made and they haven’t put a time frame on it”.
Corby also explained that the matter is different to a regular inquiry that relates to the racing rules. As such GRSA is allowing Matcott’s wife, Wendy Matcott; to take over the training of the greyhounds currently under the name of Shaun Matcott.
“Those greyhounds can be transferred to Wendy. Shaun Matcott just can’t have any greyhounds under his training care from Monday at 9am. He can reside on the same property with the understanding that Wendy will effectively be taking over the training activities”.
“It is a less usual decision that was made, in that it does not apply to the rules of racing. The issue is not the outcome of a steward’s inquiry or a breach of racing rules. The board has taken an action that it deems appropriate in relation to its fundamental obligations as an employer to provide a workplace that is free of particular issues that may be deemed to be contrary to their interests”.
“Essentially what we have undertaken as a company or an employer related position so it is different to 99% of our issues in the racing industry- they normally relate to a breach of a national rule of racing. That’s not what this is”.
Shaun Matcott was contacted for his response to these allegations and today’s GRSA decision, however he was unwilling to comment. It is understood he has retained legal advice and will be pursuing his options.
Australian Racing Greyhound will continue to monitor the story as it progresses.