Stewards wrap: NSW trainer banned until 2039

Stewards' wrap

A FORMER prominent NSW trainer has been banned from the sport until 2039 after one of his greyhounds returned yet another positive swab.

Mark Azzopardi was the subject of a Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards’ inquiry charged with presenting his greyhound, Very Choosy, to race when not free of drugs when it competed at Bathurst on September 19, 2016.

A post-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of caffeine and its metabolites theophylline, paraxanthine and theobromine.

It was the fourth time a greyhound of Azzopardi’s had returned a positive urine sample. He was banned for two years in 2013 when one of his greyhounds returned a positive to cocaine and a total of 14 years and nine months, with two years suspended, following two positive swabs to amphetamine in 2016.

Azzopardi did not respond to a breach of GAR 83(2), with GRNSW subsequently finding him guilty and handing down a 13-year disqualification.

The ban will commence on the last day of Azzopardi’s current disqualification which ends on December 31, 2026.

Vrckoff suspended

RICHARD Vrckoff has been issued a suspension by GRNSW stewards after being found guilty of breaching the prohibited substances rule.

The charge was in relation to the greyhound Barcia Bec which returned a positive urine sample to the prohibited substance cobalt above the allowed threshold when competing at Grafton on May 13, 2017.

Vrckoff entered a guilty plea and was suspended for 12 weeks.

Suspension for Ashton

BRADLEY Ashton recently entered an early guilty plea to the prohibited substance rule after one of his greyhounds, Beegumbah Rumba, returned a positive urine sample.

The sample was taken from the greyhound at Wentworth Park on February 22, 2017, and showed the presence of theobromine, a metabolite of cocaine.

After considering the circumstances GRNSW stewards determined a suspension of 12 weeks was adequate.

Hazelgrove reprimanded

REG Hazelgrove has been reprimanded under GAR 127(6) by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC). The disciplinary action was a result of Hazelgrove mating the greyhound bitch Mega Dee with Paw Licking when Mega Dee was not a registered breeding female

Hall faces prohibited substance charges

Graham Hall recently fronted the Victorian Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) charged with a breach of GAR 83(1A) and GAR 83(2)(3).

The charges were in relation to administering a prohibited substance and presenting a greyhound to race when not free of a prohibited substance after Hall’s greyhound Black Paws returned a positive urine sample to cobalt above the allowed threshold after competing at Cranbourne on July 20, 2016.

Hall pleaded guilty to the administration charge and was penalised with a 12-month suspension, with nine months suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 83 within the next year.

No additional charges were laid for the breach of the presentation rule.

Collins suspended

HEATHER Collins has been suspended by the RADB after two of her greyhounds tested positive to cobalt.

Paula Bale and Connie Bale both returned pre-race samples above the allowed cobalt threshold when competing at The Meadows and Ballarat on January 25 and February 8 respectively.

Collins was slapped with four rule breaches, two under GAR 83(1A) for administering a prohibited substance and two under GAR 83(2)(3) for presenting greyhounds to race when not free of a prohibited substance.

Collins gave evidence that her husband Steve feeds their greyhounds, with Mr Collins feeding Rapidvite Amino Cal Plus 5mg every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night, with expert opinions indicating that the product could elevate urinary cobalt concentration over the threshold.

Mrs Collins said that the greyhounds had been fed the product for the past three years with no prior positives and suggested that a rival trainer broke into their kennels and gave the two greyhounds in question additional dosages of the product.

However, Collins ultimately pleaded guilty to the administration charges, with the RADB deciding not to impose a penalty for the presentation charges.

The RADB ultimately decided to impose a 15-month suspension with nine months suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 83 in the next 18 months.

Weightman fined

DEAN trainer Daryl Weightman has been fined by the RADB after pleading guilty to a breach of the prohibited substances rule.

Weightman’s greyhound Red Light Runner returned a positive urine sample to the prohibited substance arsenic when competing at Ballarat on February 1, 2017.

Weightman was unable to explain the cause of the prohibited substance and was issued a six month suspension, wholly suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 83 in the next 12 months, and was additionally fined $1,000.

Mowat fined

DEBORAH Mowat recently faced a RADB inquiry charged with a breach of GAR 83(2)(3). The charges were laid after Mowat’s greyhound Shanakee returned a positive urine sample to the prohibited substance meloxicam after competing at Sandown Park on April 6, 2017.

Mowat pleaded guilty and was fined $2,000 – with $500 suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 83 in the next 12 months.

Sultana banned

NEWBOROUGH trainer Joseph Sultana has been disqualified after presenting his greyhound to race when not free of a prohibited substance.

Sultana’s greyhound Lucky Andy returned a positive urine sample to codeine and morphine when competing at Traralgon on May 1, 2017.

Sultana was unable to provide a reason for the positive, but pleaded guilty to the charge and was banned for five months to commence on September 2, 2017.

Brett issued wholly suspended sentence

GARY Brett recently pleaded guilty to a breach of the prohibited substances rule after his greyhound Fiery Neil returned a positive to caffeine and theobromine when competing at Healesville on April 21, 2017.

Brett, who works at the Geelong greyhound track, could not offer a reason for the positive. Given that a suspension or disqualification would result in him losing his job, the RADB wholly suspended a two-month suspension with the understanding that Brett is to not nominate any of his greyhounds throughout the next two months.

Brett was also fined $750.

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