Stewards wrap: SA greyhound trainer appeals decade-long ban

A SOUTH Australian greyhound trainer has appealed his decade-long disqualification and $10,000 fine after being found guilty of a breach of the permanently banned substance rule.

The specifics of the case were that, on January 5, Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA) Stewards took an out of competition swab from the greyhound Are Ate at the property of its trainer, Michele Familglietti.

The analysis of the swab showed that the greyhound had the permanently banned substance Amphetamine in its system, which put Familglietti in breach of GAR 79(A)(4)(i).

Familglietti pleaded not guilty and submitted that the integrity of the swab had been affected.

Scenarios given by Familglietti included the possibility of the use of a worming product, contamination of the sample by sand, the fact that gloves were not used by the testers in the first part of the procedure and that also the water used in relation to the cleaning of the ladle used to obtain the sample was contaminated.

Upon considering the evidence relating to the above scenarios, Stewards ultimately found Familglietti guilty as charged and slapped him with a 10-year disqualification in addition to a $10,000 fine.

Upon deciding on the penalty, Stewards were mindful that Familglietti had been found guilty of presenting a dog for racing when not free of a prohibited substance on four previous occasions.

All up, Familglietti had previously served two and a half years of disqualification which expired on November 28, 2015.

However, upon considering all aspects of the case, the Racing Appeals Tribunal considered the 10-year penalty in addition to the $10,000 fine to be excessive.

The Tribunal ruled to reduce the penalty of disqualification to seven years, effective from August 1, 2016, while it was ordered that the monetary penalty remain at $10k.

Hagicostas fined for positive swab

Stewards from the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) recently conducted an inquiry into the analyst’s findings of desvenlafaxine in the urine sample taken from the greyhound Back On Track after it competed at Ipswich on May 3, 2016.

Evidence was taken from the greyhound’s trainer, George Hagicostas, who pleaded guilty to a breach of GAR 83 (2)(a).

In determining a penalty, Stewards considered Hagicostas’ unblemished record from almost 40 years within the industry.

He was subsequently handed down a fine of $3,000, half of which was suspended providing no further breaches of any drug related rules within the next 12 months.

Back On Track was also disqualified from the event in question.

Trainer faces seven swab-related charges

QRIC Stewards recently concluded an inquiry into the urine samples taken from registered greyhounds of Mark Lutter.

Lutter was charged with seven breaches of the prohibited substances rule GAR 83 (2)(a), with the specifics of each breach as follows:

  • The presence of cobalt at a mass concentration above the threshold level in the urine sample taken from Bogart Blend in Race 4 at Rockhampton on March 23 2016;
  • The presence of cobalt at a mass concentration above the threshold level and Boldenone in the urine sample taken from Summah’s Knight in Race 3 at Rockhampton on March 30 2016;
  • The presence of cobalt at a mass concentration above the threshold taken from Stars Align in Race 6 at Rockhampton on April 6 2016;
  • The presence of cobalt at a mass concentration above the threshold and testosterone as evidenced by the presence of 5β-androstane-3α, 17β-diol above the threshold level taken from Kewin Up in a pre-race sample prior to competing in Race 9 at Rockhampton on April 6 2016;
  • The presence of cobalt at a mass concentration above the threshold taken from Bogart Blend in Race 5 at Rockhampton on April 13 2016;

Lutter pleaded guilty to all of the charges pertaining to cobalt and not guilty to the charges in relation to boldenone and testosterone. However, after consideration, Stewards found him guilty on all charges.

Stewards issued the following penalties after considering all of the evidence from the case:

Charge 1 – two years disqualification
Charge 2 – two years disqualification
Charge 3 – nine months disqualification
Charge 4 – two years disqualification
Charge 5 – two years disqualification
Charge 6 – three months disqualification
Charge 7 – two years disqualification

Stewards ordered that charges 1,2,4,5 and 7 be served concurrently with the penalties for charges 3 and 6 to be cumulative to the other period of disqualification.

All up, Lutter will be disqualified for three years from August 2, 2016 through to and including August 2, 2019.

All greyhounds were disqualified from their respective events.

Tony Brett receives hefty fine

Tony Brett has been handed a $10,000 fine after being found guilty of a breach of the prohibited substance rule.

The breach was in relation to a sample taken from Brett’s greyhound Gallari at Ipswich on April 15, 2016, which was tested and found to contain the prohibited substance Pentobarbitone.

Despite pleading not guilty, Brett was found guilty as charged by QRIC Stewards.

Acting under GAR 83 (4) Gallari was also disqualified from the race at Ipswich, with placings amended accordingly.

Procaine positives for Weeding and Harker

Gary Weeding has been found guilty of a breach of GAR 83 (2)(a) after his greyhound Izzyotic returned a positive sample to procaine after competing at Rockhampton on March 23, 2016.

Weeding was fined $2,500, while the greyhound was also disqualified from the aforementioned race.

Also being found guilty of a breach of GAR 83 (2)(a) was Albert Harker after his greyhound Zane Harks returned a sample positive to procaine, also at the Rockhampton meeting on March 23.

Harker was fined $1,000, with Zane Harks also disqualified from its race.

SA trainers fined for verbal confrontation

GRSA recently concluded an inquiry into the conduct of registered trainers Scott Feltus and Tony Rassmussen at Angle Park on July 28, 2016.

Both men were charged with a breach of GAR 86 (o) which relates to conduct.

Feltus and Rassmussen both pleaded guilty as charged.

Feltus was fined $800, with $400 suspended for 24 months with the condition that he does not re-offend under the rule.

Rassmussen was fined $400, with $200 suspended for 24 months with the condition that he does not re-offend under the rule.

Bouchier fined for abusing GRSA Officer

Trainer Bernard Bouchier Jnr has been found guilty of a breach of GAR 86 (f) for verbally abusing a GRSA Animal Welfare Officer during a phone call on July 22, 2016.

Bouchier was fined $600, $150 of which was suspended for 24 months pending no further breaches of that rule during the two year period.

Dennis Calleja disqualified

Racing and Wagering WA (RWWA) Stewards have opened an inquiry into a report received from Stipendiary Steward Graham O’Dea.

O’Dea, in conjunction with RWWA Chief Investigator Geoff Johnson and RWWA Compliance Officer Freya Norman, conducted an un-announced kennel inspection at the property of Dennis Calleja on July 7, 2016.

The intitial inspection was followed by a further inspection and recorded interview on July 21, 2016.

Calleja was served with a formal notice of inquiry on Friday July 22, 2016, directing him to attend an inquiry on July 28.

Calleja failed to attend the inquiry, with RWWA Stewards determining to disqualify his licence until such time as he attends the inquiry.

Fazzino disqualified by GRNSW

Charles Fazzino recently faced Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) Stewards charged with a breach of GAR 83 (2).

The specifics of the case were that Fazzino’s greyhound, Bugatti Dart, returned a urine sample which showed the presence of the prohibited substance Caffeine (and its metabolites) when competing at The Gardens on February 6, 2016.

Fazzino entered a guilty plea to the charge and was given a 25 per cent discount on penalty by stewards. Upon considering all of the evidence, including the low level of the prohibited substance in the sample, Fazzino was issued with an 18-week disqualification.

Acting under GAR 83 (4), GRNSW also disqualified Bugatti Dart from the race in question.

Wauchope greyhound track fined by GRNSW

The Hastings River Greyhound Racing Club (Wauchope) has been fined by GRNSW following an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the greyhound Roman Zesta competing in race nine on June 11, 2016.

Stewards heard throughout the course of the inquiry that the greyhound was presented 1.7 kilograms heavier than its previous weight which was within a 28 day period – meaning that in order to race the greyhound had to be within 1 kilogram of its previous weight.

Stewards received evidence from several people including Barry Harmey, Roman Zesta’s trainer who was also acting as the Weighing Official and Kennel Supervisor on the day.

Harmey was found to be in breach of GAR 104(1), while the Hastings River GRC was also charged with a breach of GAR 104(3)(b) with Rex Nairn, the President, pleading guilty to the charge.

Stewards determined to disqualify Roman Zesta from his second place in the race, while the Club was fined $1,000.

John Horan pleads guilty to positive swab offence

GRNSW recently handed down a verdict to trainer John Horan, who was charged with a breach of 83 (2) after his greyhound Nipper Zarr returned a positive urine sample to Synephrine when competing at Dubbo on November 5, 2015.

Horan pleaded guilty to the charge and provided submissions for consideration by Stewards.

Stewards concluded that the presence of the prohibited substance was likely to have arisen from the greyhound ingesting parts of the citrus trees present on Horan’s property.

Subsequently, stewards did not penalise Horan and discharged him under GAR 98 pending no further breaches of the greyhound racing rules within the next 12 months.

Majella Ferguson case finalised

Almost three years after the race in question, Majella Ferguson has been disqualified by GRNSW Stewards after her greyhound, Electro Storm, returned a positive urine sample to boldenone and its metabolites androsta-1, 4-diene-3, 17-dione at Wentworth Park on September 28, 2013.

Ferguson pleaded guilty to a breach of GAR 83(2) in that she did not present the greyhound in a state free of any prohibited substance.

After hearing submissions and considering all information, Stewards handed down a three-month disqualification.

Electro Storm was also disqualified from the aforementioned event.

Dragon Blood inquiry withdrawn

GRNSW have withdrawn an inquiry into the analyst’s findings of Pentobarbitone in the B Sample taken from the greyhound Dragon Blood at Taree on January 23, 2016.

The withdrawal follows notification that the sample taken from the greyhound was likely to have been unintentionally contaminated.

Charles Mizzi receives penalty for positive swab

The Victorian Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) recently finalised an inquiry surrounding a urine sample taked from the greyhounds Carmyle and Bluehawk Burst which were found to contain the substance Cobalt at a mass concentration greater than the 100 nanograms per millilitre threshold.

Mizzi was slapped with four charges – two of GAR 83 (1A) in that he administered or caused to be administered a prohibited substance – and two charges of GAR 83 (2) in that he presented the greyhounds to race not free of a prohibited substance.

Mizzi pleaded guilty to all charges.

At the inquiry evidence was tendered that both greyhounds had been administered with an injection of Vitamin B12 prior to the races which is the likely cause of both positive swabs.

For each swab Mizzi was given a 15 month disqualification, nine months of which was suspended providing no further breaches of GAR 83 within the next 12 months.

Both disqualification periods will be served concurrently and commenced on August 10, 2016.

Bluehawk Burst and Carmyle were both disqualified from their respective races.

Darren Pattinson positive swab results in fine

Leading Victorian trainer Darren Pattinson faced the RADB after his greyhound, Marungi Choice, returned a positive urine sample to the prohibited substance Procaine when competing at Bendigo on February 26, 2016.

Pattinson was charged with a breach of GAR 83(2) to which he pleaded guilty.

At the inquiry, it was established that the likely cause for the positive swab was that the greyhound had been fed knackery meat prior to the race.

Pattinson was subsequently fined $1,000, with $500 of that fine suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR 83 within that time.

Jeffrey disqualified by RADB

Ballarat trainer Anthony Jeffrey has been disqualified by the RADB after being found guilty of a breach of GAR 83 (2)(3).

The specifics of the case were that Jeffrey’s greyhound, Stolen Gem, returned a positive urine sample to the prohibited substance Sotalol when it competed at Bendigo on February 12.

At a telephone inquiry, Jeffrey pleaded not guilty to the charge and gave evidence that the swab could have been from cross-contamination from medication prescribed to him which contains the substance in question.

Jeffrey was subsequently given a six-month disqualification, while Stolen Gem was also disqualified from the event n question.

Panetta faces hearing for positive swab

Last week the RADB handed down a verdict as a result of an inquiry into a positive urine sample detected from the greyhound Max Rocket at Ballarat on March 9, 2016.

Evidence was taken from the greyhound’s trainer Anne Panetta who pleaded guilty to a breach of the prohibited substances rule after the urine sample was found to contain the substance frusemide – a diuretic.

Based on all evidence, the RADB imposed a fine of $1000, $500 of which was suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR 83 within that time.

Max Rocket was also disqualified from the event in question.

Past Discussion

  1. The racing industry really has learned its lesson and pledges to rid itself of all the “bad apples”. Oh, wait, that never happened! I must have read it somewhere…

  2. Katherine.

    I will speak for the thousands of honest hard working people in our industry. These arse holes should get life bans especially at a time like this.

    What is wrong with our stewards / administrators. Bloody well do something.

  3. JeffWhite4 Seems to me that the racing Industry and the judges in our courts are running around par. Pretty soft decisions in both places.