Stewards wrap: QLD trainers cleared over Pentobarbitone anomaly

QUEENSLAND trainer Clarence Wilcox recently fronted a Racing Queensland (RQ) inquiry after a urine sample from his greyhound Asa Top Agent showed the presence of the prohibited substance Pentobarbitone when it won at Townsville on November 26, 2015.

Confirmatory analysis of the sample was completed be the Analytical Services Racing Science Centre which confirmed the presence of Pentobarbitone in the urine sample, however the substance was also detected in the control sample.

After considering the evidence, Stewards were not able to be completely satisfied that Mr Wilcox had breached GAR 83 (2)(a) – a rule which related to presenting greyhounds free of prohibited substances – and therefore took no further action.

It was the second anomaly of the same nature which was addressed by RQ Stewards last week, with a urine sample and control sample taken after the greyhound Fredrik won at Townsville on January 12, 2016, also showing the presence of Pentobarbitone.

Stewards spoke to Fredrik’s trainer Lee Pearce, but were not able to take any further action.

SA trainer disqualified for misconduct

South Australian trainer Michael Stewart recently fronted an inquiry led by Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA) stewards after it was alleged he failed to submit to a breathalyser test in the stewards room before and after race 10 at Angle Park on Thursday February 18, 2016.

Based on the incident, Stewart was slapped with two charges under GAR86 (p) and (q) which relate to a registered person failing to comply with the order of stewards and engaging in conduct which may be seen as detrimental to the interest, welfare, image, control or promotion of greyhound racing.

Stewart pleaded guilty to both charges and was subsequently disqualified for a period of three months, commencing midnight on Sunday April 3. The disqualification was imposed immediately as a result of a similar offence in December 2014 where Stewart was given a three month suspended sentence due to his alleged improper behaviour.

A 12 month disqualification period was also imposed which is set to take effect upon his return from the three months currently being served, with the 12 month sentence suspended for a period of 12 months providing that no other offences were committed during that period.

Berry’s penalty restarted after new offence

Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) Stewards completed an inquiry last week in regards to disqualified person Graham Berry entering a registered greyhound property at Nambeelup on December 31, 2015.

A Prosecution Notice from the Magistrates Court of Western Australia indicated that Berry pleaded guilty to trespassing on the property which coincided with surveillance vision which showed him entering the property on the aforementioned day.

On March 12, 2016 Berry was given the opportunity to make a written submission in regards to his trespassing on the property, with potential that he would be charged with a breach of R99 and 100, however no submissions were received.

R99 relates to a disqualified person not being allowed to enter or remain on a registered greyhound property without permission from the controlling body.

Stewards found him guilty of breaching the restrictions of R99.

R100 states that “The period of penalty imposed on a person who is disqualified or warned off shall automatically be deemed to have recommenced as from the most recent date of the person breaching Rule 99.”

Accordingly, Berry’s original 10 year disqualification was recommenced on December 31, 2015, and is set to expire on December 30, 2025.

Berry has a decorated history with similar offences, the specifics of which can be read here.

Michael Bird fronts inquiry over Diclofenac swab

Victorian trainer Michael Bird was recently charged with a breach of GAR 83 (2)(3) after his greyhound Outlaw Clyde returned a pre race urine sample which showed the presence of the prohibited substance Diclofenac after it competed at Ballarat on February 18, 2016.

The substance in question, Diclofenac, is commonly used in pain relief, anti-inflammatory medication. During the preliminary inquiry, Bird admitted using to using Voltaren on Outlaw Clyde’s split webbing four to five days before the Ballarat race.

In a future visit to his premises by stewards, Bird referred to his use of Voltaren to deal with swelling on his fingers.

At a later hearing before the RADB, Bird admitted to the charge, submitting for consideration that his offending was inadvertent.

Also giving evidence was Dr Karamatic, the Industry Veterinary Office for GRV, who stated:

“Diclofenac is capable of reducing pain and inflammation and therefore positively affecting the performance of a greyhound.”

However, as it transpired, Outlaw Clyde finished last in the aforementioned Ballarat race having suffered interference during the race.

At the inquiry in front of the board, Bird pleaded guilty to the charge. Upon considering all of the circumstances, taking into account Bird’s guilty plea, his excellent character references, his frankness at the inquiry, his sincere remorse, his prior good record and the steps taken to avoid a repeat offence, the RADB imposed a one month disqualification, wholly suspended pending no further breaches of any rules relating to the treatment of greyhounds in his care for the next 12 months.

Further, the RADB also handed down a $1,000 fine, whilst Outlaw Clyde was also disqualified from the event in question.

Jennifer Gill faces the VCAT

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) recently released the details of an appeal by trainer Jennifer Gill in regards to a penalty impose upon her by the RADB.

The specifics of the case were that Gill was found guilty of a breach of GAR 83 (2)(a) in December 2015 after her greyhound Dr Klass returned a urine sample which showed the presence of the prohibited substance 5β-Androstane-3a, 17β-diol at a mass concentration greater than the allowed 10g/ml when it competed at Sandown on August 2, 2015.

Gill was subsequently given a nine month disqualification by the RADB, four of which were suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches during that time, effective from December 21, 2015.

However, Gill applied to the tribunal seeking a review on penalty and was subsequently granted a stay of proceedings until her VCAT hearing. Upon deliberation, including the consideration of past cases, the VCAT ruled the penalty was appropriate, with Gill’s disqualification to therefore commence on April2, 2016.

Brian Brown disqualified for positive swab offence

Brian Brown faced the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) charged with a breach of GAR 83 (2)(3) after his greyhound, Shout Out Loud, returned a positive pre-race swab to the prohibited substances Oxycodone and Oxymorphone when it competed at The Meadows on November 7, 2015.

Brown pleaded guilty to the offence and after hearing submissions and evidence on behalf of Brown and the Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) Stewards, the Board decided to disqualify Brown for a period of two years, with one year of the penalty suspended, pending no further rule breaches relating to the treatment of greyhounds within his care and custody.

Shout Out Loud was also disqualified from the event in question.