SA Greyhound Trainer Marcello Calicchio Disqualified For 12 Months For Cocaine Metabolite Positive

GRSA Stewards completed an inquiry on 16th January 2012 into the circumstances relating to the obtaining of the urine sample from the greyhound Quiksilver Blues at the Southern Greyhound Raceway meeting held at Strathalbyn on Sunday 23rd October 2011.

Quiksilver Blue had tested positive to the metabolite Benzoylecgonine. The presence of Benzoylecgonine in the urine is a strong indicator of Cocaine use as the metabolite is formed in the liver as the Cocaine is metabolised by the body and subsequently excreted via the urinary system.

Mr. Mr Marcello Calicchio was charged with a breach of the GRSA Rules Of Greyhound Racing R83 which reads:

R83 Racing greyhound to be free of prohibited substances
(2) The owner, trainer or person in charge of a greyhound-
(a) nominated to compete in an Event;
(b) presented for a satisfactory, weight or whelping trial or such other trial as provided for pursuant to these Rules; or
(c) presented for any test or examination for the purpose of a period of incapacitation or prohibition being varied or revoked
shall present the greyhound free of any prohibited substance.
(3) The owner, trainer or person in charge of a greyhound presented contrary to sub-rule (2) shall be guilty of an offence.
(4) A greyhound presented for an Event contrary to sub-rule (2) shall be disqualified from the Event or any benefit derived from a trial or test.

Mr. Calicchio pleaded guilty to the charge.

After taking into consideration all of the evidence Mr. Calicchio was disqualified by the stewards for a period of 12 months effective from Midnight Tuesday 17th January 2012.

Stewards acting under rule R83(4) disqualified QUIKSILVER BLUES from race one(1) at the meeting held at Strathalbyn on Sunday 23rd October 2011 and amended the placings accordingly.

Calichio becomes the fifth positive to a metabolite of Cocaine in the last six years. In 2008 a Victorian greyhound trainer received a 2 year disqualification for the same offence; in 2005 Jodie Gilbert received an 18 month disqualification; in 2006 New South Wales greyhound trainer Ray Dixon received a two year disqualification; and more recently Stuart Dickinson had his disqualification reduced to ten months on appeal.