Stewards’ wrap: Azzopardi fined for positive Asa Barboza swab

LEADING conditioner Anthony Azzopardi has been found guilty of a breach of the prohibited substance rule.

Azzopardi was charged with a breach of GAR 83(2)(3) after his greyhound, Asa Barboza, returned a positive sample to the banned substance methylprednisolone when competing at Ballarat on May 25, 2016.

Azzopardi plead guilty to the charge and gave evidence that the swab could have resulted due to the fact that he had fed non-human consumption meat to his ‘B-grade’ dogs which included Asa Barboza.

Upon consideration of the circumstances involved in the case, stewards imposed a $1500 fine, $500 of which was suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 83 in the next 12 months.

Additionally, Asa Barboza was disqualified from the event in question.

Morphine and codeine swab results in lengthy bans

Newborough trainer Joseph Sultana recently faced the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) charged with two breaches of GAR 83(2)(3).

The charges were laid after the greyhounds Lucky Andy and Gee Whiz Gran both returned positive urine samples when competing at Traralgon on May 23 and 30 respectively.

The substances in question were codeine and morphine, with Sultana pleading guilty to both charges. Upon considering the evidence, the RADB determined a two year disqualification was satisfactory for the Lucky Andy charge, with 12 months suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 83 in the next two years.

Stewards also imposed the same penalty for the Gee Whiz Gran charge, ordered to be served concurrently with the first penalty.

Sultana’s period of disqualification is set to commence on February 17, while both greyhounds have also been disqualified from the events in question.

Victoria Sultana was also the subject of a RADB inquiry after the greyhounds Hurricane Craig and Brooklyn Cruiser returned positive urine samples to codeine and morphine when competing at Traralgon on August 8 and September 26.

The matter was heard together with the hearing of Joseph Sultana, with Victoria Sultana also charged with two breaches of the prohibited substance rule.

Victoria Sultana plead guilty to the charges and was also disqualified for two years commencing February 17, with 12 months suspended for two years pending no further breaches of GAR 83. The penalty was imposed for both offences, but are to be served concurrently.

All four greyhounds were withdrawn from their respective events.

Five trainers have their prohibited substance-related charges withdrawn

Five Victorian greyhound trainers have had their charges dropped by Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) stewards.

James Olsen, William McMahon, Judith McMahon, Cameron Taylor and Robert Whitford had all been charged with breaches of GAR 83(2)(3) and GAR 83(1A) after their greyhounds returned positive samples to arsenic.

However, at the RADB inquiries into the matter, stewards advised that they were withdrawing all charges for each participant.

Keegan suspended for two swabs

Peter Keegan has been suspended after two of his greyhounds returned positive urine samples to prohibited substances.

Keegan was charged with two breaches of GAR 83(2) after Kiss Me Junior and Kiss Me Marlow both returned positive urine samples when competing at The Gardens on August 6 and September 30 respectively.

The prohibited substances in question were arsenic and cobalt.

Keegan entered an early guilty plea to both charges and, upon deliberation, Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards imposed a suspension of 12 weeks for each charge, to be served concurrently.

Anthony Cerveny disqualified

Aberglasslyn trainer Anthony Cerveny was also the subject of a recent GRNSW stewards’ inquiry after his greyhound, Namanga, returned a positive urine sample to arsenic when competing at Maitland on June 9, 2016.

Cerveny entered a not guilty plea to a breach of the prohibited substance rule, GAR 83(2) and provided evidence to an inquiry conducted by GRNSW.

After considering the circumstances, including that Cerveny had been licensed since 1981 with no prior positive swabs, stewards handed down a six-week disqualification.

Past Discussion

  1. The number of positives for cobalt and arsenic is alarming. It’s pretty obvious that routine feeding and vitamin supplements are the cause. Surely the thresholds are too low. I’m all for catching drug cheats, but when you’re being criminalised for looking after the health and well being of the dog, something is wrong.

  2. Bluestone 

    I half agree with what you’re saying on supplements. With a balanced diet i don’t use supplements, that’s just me! (my dogs do OK)

    However 2 years 12 months suspended for codein / morphine. What world do the stewards live in, disgusting. There is a G Bate precedent here IT’S NOT ENOUGH.

  3. I thought it very funny that Anthony got a positive from using meat not fit for human consumption. Wonder did the owner want to know why his dog was only getting the shit grade meat, lol

  4. I think it’s emblematic of the greyhound racing industry’s greed and cruelty that even with the intense public spotlight on them as a result of the proposed total ban, they continue with the same illegal and harmful practices as they exploit the dogs to chase dollars for them. I guess dodging the first racing ban bullet didn’t teach them anything, although when your first priority is profit you tend not to think much beyond the next money making opportunity.

    It will continue because as the money pie shrinks the pressure to win will grow and the dogs will pay the ultimate price. That is why no amount of regulation can be effective. Perhaps that is what Mr. Baird realized when he decided to ban the “sport” all together.

    I am a Board member of Grey2K USA Worldwide, an organization that fights to save these marvelous creatures all over the globe. (you can learn more about us here: I have fostered and adopted rescued racing greyhounds since 1995. I cannot imagine subjecting them to poisons such as arsenic just to make a dollar, and yet this is routinely what happens to them at operating tracks.
    Fred Barton
    Board Member
    Grey2K USA Worldwide

  5. AsIseeit Does he charge less to train the B-graders I wonder?. If this “non-human consumption meat” feeding is a legitimate defense for doping, the greyhound industry is still in deep trouble.

  6. Really??? I was so worried when I raced down there about this so for those weeks I changed. So it can happen I wasn’t being silly

  7. What gets me is that the penalty for Azzopardiis not even close to been consistent with similar Stewards Inquiries that have taken place involving other trainers.

  8. Terry it’s not shit grade meat, it is knackery meat not for human consumption. The only reason to use human grade is to avoid a positive to procaine. In horse meat it is Dehydronorketamine. Procaine is a fine but the other is a permantly banned substance (for what reason my greyhound vet of many years standing has no idea) is a disqual. Common sense is not being applied.

  9. Morphine is a  ‘SCHEDULE 8’  drug and is under strict government regulation, a proper inquiry is needed here.