Gregory Couldridge Disqualified For Androstane Positive Swab

Offence: Mr. Gregory Couldridge failed to present the greyhound Super Leggera free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club on Saturday, 21 December 2013.

Report: Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of a post-race urine sample taken from greyhound Super Leggera at the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Saturday, 21 December 2013.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Gregory Couldridge, Mr. Paul Zahra (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Couldridge with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83(2)(3) and (6) in that he did fail to present the greyhound Super Leggera free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Saturday, 21 December 2013 given that the post-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance 5β-Androstane-3α, 17β-diol at a mass concentration greater than 10ng/mL.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules a breach of GAR83 (2)(3)and (6) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Local Racing Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M(1) of the Racing Act.

Mr. Gregory Couldridge represented himself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Gregory Couldridge pleaded guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered and having regard to GAR83 (6), the RADB determined that Mr. Couldridge was guilty as charged and disqualified him for 6 months (with 3 months of this penalty suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR83 during the 12 month period), effective from Friday, 30 May 2014.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified Super Leggera from Event 2 – TAB REWARDS Grade 5 425m – at the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Saturday, 21 December 2013 and amended the placings accordingly.

In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) Mr. Couldridge’s guilty plea;
(b) The nature of the prohibited substance Androstane;
(c) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing and ensure a level playing field for all participants;
(d) Prior penalties for similar offences;
(e) Mr. Couldridge’s character and his clean history in the greyhound industry.