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 the greyhound ‘Penny Maid’ at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Saturday, 2 August 2014.
During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Chris Darmanin, Mr. Paul Zahra (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer).
After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Darmanin with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83(2) and (3) in that he did fail to present the greyhound ‘Penny Maid’ free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Saturday, 2 August 2014 given that the pre-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Procaine.
Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules a breach of GAR83 (2) and (3) constitutes a Serious Offence.
As a result, on Wednesday, 17 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. Chris Darmanin represented himself.
Mr. Ron Matthews (GRV Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.
Mr. Chris Darmanin pleaded guilty to the charge.
After hearing all the evidence tendered, the RADB determined that Mr. Darmanin was guilty as charged and suspended his registration for 2 months and fined him $250.
In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:
(a) Mr. Darmanins’ guilty plea;
(b) The nature of the prohibited substance Procaine and the probability that it had been present in meat ingested by the greyhound;
(c) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing and ensure a level playing field for all participants;
(d) Prior penalties for similar category 2 prohibited substance offences;
(e) Mr. Darmanins’ character and his clean history in the greyhound industry, save for a prior conviction for a similar offence in 2009, which the RADB took into account.
Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified ‘Penny Maid’ from Event 9 – The VIRBAC ANIMAL HEALTH – Grade 5 – at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Saturday, 2 August 2014 and amended the placing’s as follows:
1st Sasha Diva
2nd Claretown Tex
3rd Abit Late
4th Lexi Star
5th Loyal Miss
6th Sister Trix
7th Greysynd Rava
Disqualified Penny Maid
The RADB also expressed concern that another charge involving Procaine was before it. If this is to continue the range of penalties may need to be addressed.
It has become pretty standard for positive Procaine swabs to result in a fine with $250 a fair amount given the other cases that have been heard recently. Mr Darmanin was also suspended for two months, a penalty less common, which is perhaps attributed to the fact that he had a conviction for a similar offence in 2009.