Five Month Disqualification For Flunixin & Pentobarbitone Swab

Victorian GRV have just released details surrounding a positive swab from a Bendigo greyhoud race in which the greyhound returned a positive to both Flunixin and Pentobarbitone, a veterinary euthanasia drug better known as “green dream”.

Greyhound trainer Vivianne Giles has received a 5 month disqualification for the positive swab in her greyhound Sister Kelli, which given the combination of drugs present, could well be an “accidental positive” from feeding contaminated meat.

Flunixin is a powerful anti-inflammatory used in horses and “downy” cattle, the most common source of 4-D meat or pet food grade meat. Flunixin contaminated meat has frequently been identified as a potential source of “accidental” positive swabs in greyhounds.

Pentobarbitone Sodium, or Sodium Pentobarbital, is the most popular choice of drug by Veterinarians for animal euthanasia. It is coloquially known as “Green Dream” because of its bright green colouring, and is a strong short acting barbiturate that when given in large doses causes a full aneathesia to take effect before causing respiratory arrest. In effect producing a tranquil death by sending an animal to sleep before shutting down breathing.

Notwithstanding that, the use Of Flunixin was prevalent amongst greyhound trainers in the 80’s before today’s stringent swabbing protocols came in to existence, and in the mid 90’s the use of low doses of Pentobarbitone was thought to induce similar effects to the Morphine drug Sublimaze which, according to rumour, can only consistently be detected on pre race swabs. Notably this positive to Pentobarbitone is also in a pre-race swab sample.

GRV Stewards on 2 April, 2009 conducted an Inquiry into the pre-race urine sample taken from the greyhound Sister Kelli at the Bendigo GRC meeting on 1st January 2009 indicating the presence of the prohibited substances Flunixin and Pentobarbitone.

On the day in question Sister Kellie was beaten over 11 lengths from box 2, tarting a $3.50 favourite. Four starts and just 21 days later Sister Kelli returned to Bendigo, and starting from box 5, won paying $7.90.

GRV Stewards heard evidence from Ms. Vivianne Giles (Trainer), Mr. A. Mills (Deputy Chief Steward), Dr. J. Vine (RASL), Dr. A. Smith (Veterinary Surgeon) and another licensed person.

After hearing the evidence, Stewards charged Ms. Vivianne Giles with breach of GAR 83(2)(3) in that she did fail to produce the greyhound Sister Kelli free of any prohibited substance for an Event at the Bendigo GRC on 1 January 2009, given that a pre-race urine sample indicated the presence of the prohibited substances Flunixin and Pentobarbitone.

Ms. Vivianne Giles pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Stewards found Ms. Vivianne Giles guilty as charged and suspended her licence for 5 months (effective midnight 7 April, 2009).

Stewards also disqualified Sister Kelli from 6th position in race.