Robert Conway Disqualified For Androstane Positive

Offence:

83 (2) (3) and (6): Mr. Robert Conway failed to present the greyhound ‘Norrie’s Antics’ free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club on Wednesday, 27 August 2014.

Report:

Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of a post-race urine sample taken from the greyhound ‘Norrie’s Antics’ at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 27 August 2014.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Robert Conway, the Racing Analytical Services Laboratory and Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Conway with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83(2)(3) and (6) in that he did fail to present the greyhound ‘Norrie’s Antics’ free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 given that the post-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance 5β- Androstane-3α, 17β-diol at a mass concentration greater than 10ng/ml.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules a breach of GAR83 (2) (3) and (6) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Thursday, 18 December 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Local Racing Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M(1) of the Racing Act.

Mr. Robert Conway represented himself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) and Ms. Demi Barber (GRV Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Robert Conway pleaded guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered and having regard to GAR83 (2)(3) and (6), the RADB determined that Mr. Conway was guilty as charged and disqualified him for 9 months (with 5 months of this penalty suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR83 during the next 12 month period), effective from Tuesday, 23 December 2014.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified ‘Norrie’s Antics’ from Event 4 – The KINGSTON TROPHIES – Grade 5 – at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 and amended the placing’s as follows:

1st Midnight Reign
2nd Buckle Up Axel
3rd Henry Garth
4th Bekim Goddess
5th Ulla Allen
6th Sonic Fantasy
7th Smash It
Disqualified Norrie’s Antics

In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) Mr. Conway’s guilty plea;

(b) The nature of the prohibited substance 5Beta-Androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol when present at a mass concentration greater than 10ng/mL;

(c) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing and ensure a level playing
field for all participants;

(d) Prior penalties for similar offences;

(e) Mr. Conway’s character and his clean history for more than 45 years in the
greyhound industry;

(f) The need for general deterrence as a factor in sentencing and having regard to the
number of similar offences coming before the Board; and

(g) Mr. Conway’s positive presentation before the Board.

The Board took the opportunity to repeat its concern as to the number of matters involving this substance coming before it. The penalty given in this matter must stand at the low end of any scale and influenced by all the matters in Mr. Conway’s favour.

ARG Opinion:

There seems to be a lot of positive swabs for Androstane in recent months, probably due to the threshold being reduced to a lower concentration. GRV have shown that they are committed to eliminating the issue with most trainers caught facing disqualification and fines with this case’s penalty being consistent with those handed out recently.