Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) has, for the first time, appealed a decision of the independent Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) for being too lenient.
The decision of the GRV Stewards to appeal the decision was made on Friday 13 June and was taken in light of the strict approach of the current administration in relation to the use of prohibited substances.
GRV will continue to test for these substances and penalise any person that breaks the rules.
Yesterday, VCAT increased the penalty in the case of Graeme Bate by one (1) year, with the total disqualification period now three (3) years.
Graeme Bate pleaded guilty to five serious offences under the Greyhounds Australasia Rules (GAR) before the RADB on Tuesday 10 June this year. The charges included; administering a prohibited substance to a greyhound under his care, administering a prohibited substance to greyhounds trained by another person, procuring tablets for the purpose of administering to greyhounds and making a false and misleading statement.
GRV Chairman Peter Caillard said this sends a strong message to those who try to gain an unfair advantage adding that GRV’s clear view is that prohibited substance use will not be tolerated.
“We are committed to eradicating any type of prohibited substance use in Victorian greyhound racing,” Mr Caillard said.
“The original decision to disqualify Mr Bate for just two years was too lenient and we believe the decision of VCAT to increase Mr Bate’s penalty vindicates the Stewards decision to appeal.
“We have increased our swab numbers by 25 per cent in the past year taking close to 4300 individual swabs. We now test out-of-competition, pre-race and post-race in addition to freezing and storing samples for retrospective testing.
“We will continue to address the use of prohibited substances in greyhound racing which will allow the
punter to continue to have confidence in the integrity of our product.”
The key factor here is that the GRV cop the wrath of the greyhound community for fines/suspensions/disqualifications being too lenient or harsh, when in actual fact it’s the RADB that are deciding the penalties imposed within Victoria for serious offences. The RADB are not bound by the guidelines and are completely independent of GRV. The guidelines for penalties for different drug offences are in place as a suggested penalty but are not binding. It comes down to a RADB decision as to the penalty. Well done to the GRV for standing their ground in this case and appealing the decision. Is this just the first of many?