Robert Neocleous Disqualified For Androstane Positive

Offences:

GAR 83 (2) (3) and (6): Mr. Robert Neocleous failed to present the greyhound ‘Mumma Hook’ free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club on Wednesday, 20 August 2014.

Report:

Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of a pre-race urine sample taken from greyhound ‘Mumma Hook’ at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 20 August 2014.

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

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Neocleous with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83(2)(3) and (6) in that he did fail to present the greyhound ‘Mumma Hook’ free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 20 August 2014 given that the pre-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 Monday, 15 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 Neocleous represented himself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) and Mr. Ron Matthews (GRV Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Robert Neocleous 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. Neocleous 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 Friday 19 December 2014.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified Mumma Hook’ from Event 5 – The TAB GREAT CHASE (1-5 Wins) Heat 2 – at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 20 August 2014 and amended the placing’s as follows:

1st Custom Classic
2nd First Dan
3rd Tekki Minx
4th Take Them On
5th Elly Nora
6th Smith And Wesson
7th Elegant Elle
Disqualified Mumma Hook

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

(a) Mr. Neocleous’ 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. Neocleous’ character and his clean history for more than 40 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. Neocleous’ presentation before the Board.

ARG Opinion

The penalty in this case is standard to what has been dealt out in Victoria in recent times and is another clear indication that the state is determined to rid the sport of banned substances.