Stewards wrap: Trainer suspended for permanently-banned substance

IT has been a massive few weeks in greyhound racing, including in the various stewards’ room around the country.

Starting in Western Australia, on Monday Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) Stewards inquired into the discovery of the substance Fertagyl (gonadotrophin releasing hormone) at the property of registered trainer Peter Hepple on September 15 during a kennel inspection conducted that day.

Hepple pleaded guilty to three rule breaches as follows:

Charge 1 – GAR 79A(7) out of competition testing: particulars of the charge being that Hepple, a registered participant, was in possession of the permanently banned substance Fertagyl which could give rise to an offence if administered to a greyhound.

Charge 2 – GAR 84A(4)(a) treatment records to be kept: particulars of the charge being that Hepple administered the permanently banned substance Fertagyl to the greyhound Questar on five occasions between April 21 and June 16.

Charge 3 – GAR 83(1) Racing greyhound to be free of prohibited substances: particulars of the charge being that Hepple administered the permanently banned substance Fertagyl to the greyhound Dunn and Dunner on October 2, 2015, prior to it racing on October 5, 2015.

Meanwhile, veterinarian Dr Phillip Lawton pleaded guilty to a breach of GAR 86(o) with the particulars being that, on April 20, whilst he was the approved on-track veterinarian, he prescribed the permanently banned substance Fertagyl to trainer Peter Hepple and that in doing so he had done something which was improper in the opinion of stewards.

After consideration, stewards reserved their decision in both cases, however Hepple’s trainers licence with RWWA has been suspended pending the outcome of this matter.

Dennis Calleja disqualified and fined

RWWA Stewards completed an inquiry at the start of the month into several issues which arose from un-announced kennel inspections at the property of Dennis Calleja on July 7 and July 21, 2016.

Calleja was officially disqualified by RWWA officials on Thursday July 28 after he failed to attend an inquiry set down for that day and, of further significance, Calleja had previously relinquished all registrations he held with RWWA, effectively making him an unregistered person.

At a hearing on October 4, Calleja was charged with three rule breaches to which he pleaded guilty.

Charge 1 – GAR 84A for failing to produce a Medical Logbook when requested that complied with the provisions of GAR 84A (2).

Charge 2 – GAR 84A 4(b) for possessing a quantity of scheduled medication which was not being held in accordance with the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poison as contained in the Australian Poisons Standards.

Charge 3 – GAR 86 (f)(i) for engaging in offensive language towards senior stipendiary stewards Graham O’Dea during the kennel inspection which was conducted on July 21.

After considering the circumstances, stewards imposed the following penalties:

Charge 1 – A $400 fine
Charge 2 – A $1000 fine
Charge 3 – A disqualification of five months

Brian Jacobson’s licence suspended

Trainer Brian Jacobson has had his licence suspended pending the outcome of an inquiry, which was launched following an incident that occurred during public trials at Northam on August 20, 2016.

Stevan Shinners fined

Stevan Shinners was recently the subject of a RWWA Stewards Inquiry which was launched following an inspection at his residential property on August 3, 2016.

Shinners was charged with three rule breaches as follows:

Charge 1 – GAR 86(o) in that Shinners failed to advise RWWA Stewards of the greyhound kennelling operations being conducted out of his residential address which was considered to be an improper act.

Charge 2 – GAR 86(d) that Shinners made a misleading statement to RWWA Stewards during an official interview stating that greyhounds had only been at his property since August 2, when they had in fact been there longer.

Charge 3 – GAR 84A that Shinners was found to be in possession of a prescription medication named Ethylestronyl without a proper prescription.

Shinners plead guilty to all three changes. Upon considering the evidence, he was handed the following penalties:

Charge 1 – a $1000 fine
Charge 2 – a $1500 fine
Charge 3 – a $300 fine

Paul Shepherd pleads guilty to positive swab

Trainer Paul Shepherd has been fined by Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) after entering an early guilty plea to a breach of the prohibited substance rule, GAR 83 (2).

The specifics of the case were that Shepherd’s greyhound, Frissy Lizzie, was presented to race at Kempsey on June 25 when it was not free of a prohibited substance, with a post race urine sample testing positive to pholcodine.

Upon considering all circumstances, including Shepherd’s early guilty plea, Stewards imposed a $1,000 fine.

Francis Hayes fined

Another NSW trainer has been fined for a breach of the prohibited substance rule, with Francis Hayes slapped with a $750 monetary penalty.

The fine came after Hayes entered an early guilty plea to GAR 83 (2) after his greyhound, Our Silver Mist, returned a positive urine sample to meclofenoxate and 4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid when presented to race at Dapto on October 23, 2014.

Northfield suspended

Glen Northfield has been suspended by Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) Stewards after entering an early guilty plea to a breach of the prohibited substances rule, GAR 83(2).

The specifics of the case were that Northfield’s greyhound Bralyn Ice returned a positive urine sample to the prohibited substance cobalt when competing at Lismore on April 12, 2016.

Upon considering all of the evidence, Northfield was handed down a 24-week suspension, while the greyhound was also disqualified from the event in question.

Chad Achurch suspended

An interim suspension has been imposed on owner-trainer Chad Achurch until the completion of a steward’s inquiry which has been launched to investigate allegations that he had breached GAR 86B, which relates to lures and baiting.

Simon Zarb found guilty

Registered trainer Simon Zarb has been disqualified after pleading guilty to a breach of GAR 83(2).

The specifics of the case were that Zarb’s greyhound, Felon Rose, returned a positive urine sample to the prohibited substance cobalt when competing at Gosford on February 9, 2016.

Upon considering the circumstances, including Zarb’s early guilty plea and the low level of the prohibited substance in question, Stewards imposed a disqualification of 10-weeks.

Chad Garrard fined

Hunter Valley trainer Chad Garrard has been fined by GRNSW Stewards after entering an early guilty plea to a breach of GAR 84 (4).

The specifics of the case were that, on March 8, Garrard had in his possession at his registered address a quantity of prohibited substances that were not labelled or prescribed in compliance with the relevant state or commonwealth legislation.

Upon considering the evidence, Garrard was slapped with a $225 fine.

Karina Britton fined

Trainer Karina Britton has been fined $500, $350 of which has been suspended for six months subject to good behaviour. The fine was in relation to a breach of GAR 86 (o), which relates to failing to comply with the order of stewards, to which Britton entered an early guilty plea.

Teofilo guilty of prohibited substance breach

Anthony Teofilo has been fined by GRNSW Stewards after two of his greyhounds returned a positive urine sample to prohibited substances.

The specifics of the case were that the greyhounds Spring Force and Avenging Gun both returned positive urine samples to the substance meloxicam when competing at Dapto on April 21.

Teofilo entered an early guilty plea to the charges and further submissions as to mitigations, with Stewards considering the evidence and handing down a fine of $800.

Darren Petersen disqualified

Darren Petersen has been disqualified by GRNSW Stewards for a breach of the prohibited substance rule.

The particulars of the case were that Petersen’s greyhound Ima Tomahawk returned a positive urine sample to caffeine and its metabolites when it was competed to race at Wagga Wagga on November 20, 2015.

Petersen failed to respond to the charge and upon considering the evidence before the inquiry, was found guilty by GRNSW Stewards and given a 96-week disqualification.

Mark Azzopardi suspended

Stewards have commenced an inquiry into a sample taken from the greyhound Carjack Arrest at Richmond on August 5, 2016, which was found to contain the prohibited substance Amphetamine.

After balancing all of the factors in the case, stewards have imposed an interim suspension of Azzopardi’s licence in accordance with GAR 92 (5).

Whitton fined

Leslie Whitton has been fined under GAR 83 (2) after pleading guilty following his greyhound, Mother Of Dragon, returning a positive swab to the prohibited substance 3-hydroxylidocaine after competing at Bathurst on April 4, 2016.

After considering the evidence, Stewards determined a fine of $1,000 was sufficient.

Kedwell fined for positive swab

Garry Kedwell has been fined $750 after entering an early guilty plea to GAR 83 (2).
The specifics of the case were that Kedwell’s greyhound Taro Tron returned a positive urine sample to the prohibited substance methylprednisolone when competing at Wentworth Park on May 18, 2016.

Michael Clayton fined

Trainer Michael Clayton has entered an early guilty plea to a breach of GAR 83 (2) after his greyhound Aston Maveric returned a positive urine sample to meloxicam after it competed at Goulburn on March 1, 2016.

Stewards handed down a fine of $1,000.

John Baskett faces steward’s inquiry

Trainer John Baskett faced an inquiry last month, faced with a breach of GAR 106(1)(d) and 106(2).

The specifics of the case were that Baskett:

1. Did not ensure that his greyhound Witchway received veterinary attention when necessary on or around August 25, 2015, when it was in his care/custody [GAR 106(1)(d)] and,

2. Did not exercise reasonable care and supervision to present the greyhound Witchway from being subjected to unnecessary pain or suffering on or around August 25, 2015 [GAR 106(2)].

Baskett entered a plea of not guilty to the charges, however GRNSW subsequently found him guilty as charged.

For the first charge he was given a six-month disqualification, for the second charge he was given a nine-month disqualification, with both penalties to be served concurrently.

Murray disqualified

Trainer Tim Murray has been disqualified for 30 weeks after his greyhound Aunty Jagger returned a positive urine sample to the prohibited substance meloxicam when competing at Richmond on October 14, 2015.

Murray entered an early guilty plea to GAR 83 (2).

Smith found guilty on four charges

Meredith Smith was suspended by GRNSW Stewards last month after she faced four charges relating to a breach of the prohibited substance rule, GAR 83(2).

The charges related to the following:

Charge 1 – The greyhound Sweet Symphony returned a positive urine sample to oxazepam and dehydronorketamine when competing at Casino on October 2, 2015

Charge 2 – The greyhound Swift Cruise returned a positive urine sample to oxazepam when competing at Lismore on October 6, 2015.

Charge 3 – The greyhound Swift Cruise returned a positive urine sample to prioxicam when competing at Lismore on November 17, 2015.

Charge 4 – The greyhound Swift Cruise returned a positive urine sample to piroxicam and dehydronorketamine when competing at Lismore on November 24, 2015.

Smith entered an early guilty plea to all charges, with Stewards imposing a concurrent suspension of 10-weeks.

Peter Hannagan guilty of misconduct

Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA) Stewards conducted an inquiry this week into the alleged conduct of owner/attendant Peter Hannagan in McQueen’s Tavern on Saturday, September 24, 2016.

After considering the evidence, Hannagan was charged with a breach of GAR 86(o) which relates to misconduct, with the specifics being that Hannigan was alleged to have used foul, abusive and threatening language towards a duty manager.

Hannagan pleaded guilty as charged and was fined $500, $200 of which was suspended for a period of 24 months pending no further rule breaches during that period.

Charles Adcock suspended and fined

Charles Adcock recently faced a stewards’ inquiry following a random kennel inspection at his property on Friday September 16.

Adcock was subsequently charged with a breach of GAR 106 which relates to ensuring greyhounds are provided with kennels constructed and of a standard approved by the controlling body which are adequate in size and kept in a clean and sanitary condition.

The rule also state that the person responsible for the greyhound who fails to comply with any provision of this rule shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a penalty in accordance with Rule 95.

Adcock was found guilty of breaching this rule and was handed down a three month suspension, wholly suspended for 24 months, as well as a $250 fine.

Philip Lenehen disqualified

Trainer Philip Lenehen has been disqualified by GRSA Stewards after pleading guilty to a breach of GAR 83(2).

The specifics of the case being that his greyhound, Ponting’s Nail, returned a positive urine sample to the prohibited substance Cobalt in excess of the 100ng/mL threshold according to GAR 83(10).

After considering the evidence relating to the case, stewards imposed a six-month disqualification to commence on October 6, 2016.

Michael Niele found guilty of misconduct

Michael Niele faced GRSA Stewards last month charged with a breach of GAR 86(q) in relation to his alleged conduct at the Mount Gambier meeting on Sunday June 12, 2016.

Niele pleaded not guilty to the charge, but was subsequently found guilty as charged and fined $1,500, $500 of which was suspended for 24 months on the condition that he does not re-offend under the rule.

Cryer pleads guilty to prohibited substance offence

GRSA finalised an inquiry last month into the analysis of a pre-race urine sample taken from the greyhound Cryers Ricky which showed the presence of Flunixin when presented to compete at Mount Gambier on May 15, 2016.

Cryer was charged with a breach of GAR 83(2) to which he plead guilty. Stewards considered the evidence and Cryer was handed down a suspension of two months as well as a $1,500 fine.

Dean Decrea found guilty of misconduct

SA trainer Dean Decrea fronted a stewards’ inquiry charged with a breach of GAR 86(g) in relation to alleged misconduct during a random kennel inspection at his property on June 7, 2016.

Decrea pleaded guilty to the charge and was disqualified for a period of six months.

Darren Scells disqualified

Stewards from the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) finalised an inquiry last month into the analyst’s findings in the urine sample taken from the greyhound Nureyev prior to it competing at Albion Park on June 13.

Tests on the urine sample detected the presence of amphetamine and methamphetamine, with the greyhound’s trainer, Darren Scells, subsequently charged with a breach of GAR 83(2)(a).

Scells pleaded guilty to the charge and was disqualified for a period of six months, to expire at midnight on March 6, 2017.

Suli fined for positive swab

Andrew Suli has been fined by the QRIC after pleading guilty to a breach of the prohibited substances rule.

The specifics of the case were that Suli’s greyhound, You Maybe Right, returned a positive urine sample to Levamisole when competing at Rockhampton on June 29, 2016.

Stewards deemed the appropriate penalty was a $2000 fine, whilst the greyhound was also disqualified from the event in question.

Norman Gates faces six prohibited substance charges

Victorian trainer Norman Gates recently faced the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) charged with six breaches under GAR 83 (1A) and 83 (2), both of which relate to prohibited substance offences.

The charges related to urine samples taken from the greyhounds Midnight Ebony, at Sandown on March 27 and Ballarat on April 21, and Azza at Healesville on May 22, 2016.

Norman Gates pleaded guilty to the charges, all of which related to the finding of Heptaminol.

For charges two and four, Gates was disqualified for six months with two months suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 83 within the next year. These two penalties were ordered to be served concurrently.

For charges one and three, Gates was disqualified for a period of four months on each charge, to be served concurrently with charge two.

For charge six a four-month disqualification was handed down, whilst on charge five he was slapped with a two-month disqualification, to be served concurrently with charge six.

All up, Gates will face eight months on the sidelines, to take effect from October 26, 2016.

Creighton fined for positive swab

Steve Creighton was recently handed down a fine by the RADB after pleading guilty to a breach of the prohibited substances rule, GAR 83(2). The specifics of the charge were that his greyhound, Narralee, returned a urine sample which was positive to Procaine prior to competing at Bendigo on April 16.

Upon consideration, Creighton was issued with a $1000 fine, with $500 suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 83 in the next 12 months.

Bravo found guilty but escapes penalty

Brett Bravo has been found guilty by the RADB of a breach of GAR 82(2) in that he presented the greyhound Time No Money to race at Ballarat on February 3, 2016 when it was not free of a prohibited substance.

The specifics of the case were that the greyhound had been injected with the drug 6a-Hydroxystanozolol by a veterinarian on April 1, 2015, prior to arriving at his kennel in late 2015. Stanozolol had been detected in a urine sample taken from the greyhound after racing in Sydney on June 15, 2015.

Bravo was concerned about the greyhound returning a positive swab when it came into his care and paid $1000 to have three elective tests on the greyhound for the presence of stanozolol on November 9, December 2 and December 29. The first two tests revealed irregularities, but the final test showed the substance was not detected.

Paul Zahra from Racing Analytical Services LTD told a steward’s inquiry into the February 3 positive swab that a screening test showed the presence of stanazolol but more rigorous confirmatory testing did not detect the drug or its metabolites.

After March 2016 the greyhound returned to Sydney where it was still testing positive for the drug as of April.

Upon considering the special circumstances, the RADB found Bravo guilty as charged but did not implement a penalty.

Ben Englund fined

Trainer Ben Englund faced the RADB last month charged with a breach of the prohibited substance rule after his greyhound, Wynburn Alpha, returned a positive urine sample to Fludrocortisone prior to competing at Sandown on February 26, 2016.

Englund pleaded guilty to the charge and upon considering the evidence was handed down a $1500 fine, $500 of which was suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 83 in the next 12 months.

Graham Carr found guilty of prohibited substance rule breaches

Trainer Graham Carr recently plead guilty to four breaches of GAR 83 (1A) and GAR 83 (2) which relate to administering a prohibited substance and presenting a greyhound to race when not free of a prohibited substance.

The specifics were that Carr’s greyhounds Run Plebbie Run and Milly O’Muffin both returned positive urine samples to Heptaminol when competing at meetings at Warragul and Traralgon on April 7 and April 25 respectively.

For both charges of GAR 83 (1A) Carr was issued a 12-month disqualification, to be served concurrently, with three months of that period suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 83 in the 12 month period. No extra penalties were issued for the breaches of GAR 83(2).

Lisa Cockerall disqualified

Prominent Victorian trainer Lisa Cockerall has been disqualified by the RADB over four breaches of GAR 83 (1A) and GAR 83 (2). The charges relate to her greyhounds Rolanda Hooch and Polijuice Potion which both returned positive urine samples to cobalt, at a concentration higher than the 100ng/mL threshold, when competing at Sandown on December 2015.

Cockerall pleaded guilty to the charges. For both charges of GAR (1A) she was given 15 months disqualification, with both charges of GAR 83 (2) resulting in eight month disqualifications, with all sentences to be served concurrently with charge one.

Additionally, the last 12 months of the disqualification relating to charge one was suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 83 within that period, meaning that Cockerall will serve three months on the sidelines.

Harold Hunter disqualified

Harold Hunter was disqualified by the RADB last month after pleading guilty to a breach of GAR 83 (2)(3). The specifics of the case were that the greyhound returned a positive urine sample to Oxazepam and Nordiazpam when competing at Shepparton on March 17, 2016.

Upon considering the circumstances, the RADB imposed a six month disqualification, three months of which have been suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR 83.

Past Discussion

  1. Don’t these people realize that in Mike Bairds and Troy Grants book drugging greyhounds and live baiting are on the same page. They are watching WE ARE ON NOTICE.  It’s a threat not only in NSW but Australia wide. The welfare issue here is huge, bigger than most want to accept.

    Apart from the welfare issue these parasites are defrauding their fellow participants, defrauding the punters, and are attempting to defraud the government.

    In my view the drugs issue should be treated as seriously as live baiting, the good people , the hobby trainers, the honest public trainers, we don’t need you scum bags.

    Why our authorities can’t do a Lance Armstrong on these creeps is beyond me.

    I have been a trainer since 1965 and i tell you all, if a greyhound is trained properly and is at its peak nothing will make it perform any better than it is physically capable of performing. Most of those mentioned here are not fit to be called greyhound trainers. I’m disgusted. You’re putting the industry in jeopardy.

  2. Reform of the industry seems to require an IQ test and literacy test.  “Can you read these rules?  Do you understand these rules?  What do these rules say?”