Fresh hell awaits Andrew Bell as GWIC takes case to Supreme Court

NSW greyhound trainer Andrew Bell
Fresh hell awaits veteran NSW trainer Andrew Bell and his family, with GWIC to challenge his suspended six-week ban in the Supreme Court. (Picture: GRNSW)


It's hard to believe the hell for Andrew Bell and his family will continue after the and Integrity Commission (GWIC) this week announced it would take the (RAT) decision on his drastically reduced ban to the Supreme Court.

It is a case which will not only have everyone in the greyhound racing industry closely looking on, but many people in horse and harness racing as well.

Bell's 16-month disqualification for a positive swab to which King Reed recorded at Dapto in December 2021 was reduced to just a suspended six-week sentence by RAT judge in January.

That was when the experienced conditioner could finally breathe a sigh of relief as the long-running saga came to a close.

Or so he thought.

GWIC went on the record this week saying its Supreme Court action was about challenging legal precedent in law, and that it was nothing personal against Bell.

GWIC contacted Bell and emphasised this point, subsequently comfortable in announcing that detail on the record.

Common courtesies aside, it is still Bell and his family who are the ones hurting from all of this.

They are the ones who will have to go through yet another drawn-out legal process – and where is the high-level support for them?

There doesn't appear to be any.

Once again, it is Bell who will have to dig deep into his pockets to fight a battle he never wanted, but he is sticking with for the sake of trying to create a better future for his industry peers.

Not to mention he is adamant he did nothing wrong.

The traces of , 4-hydroxyamphetamine and methamphetamine were found on Bell's now three-year-old dog at Dapto in December 2021.

Australian Racing Greyhound understands Bell's legal proceedings reached a total of $92,000 in an effort to clear his name – which he thought he did – as he maintains he never administered any recreational drugs to his dog.

It is estimated his Supreme Court costs could be at least another $40,000.

People in horse and harness racing will pay close attention to the upcoming Supreme Court challenge because a legal precedent could be set for all three codes from this case.

As well as the interest it has created, and will continue to create, Bell is certainly not short of allies across the greyhound racing industry.

His life passion has been greyhound racing, but he also does it to support his family from their Werombi property base.

He loves going to race meetings and socialising with opponents, but also – despite everything he has been through – still has a burning desire to win a event.

These are all character traits which are highly respected across his industry.

Bell's life was good – but he worked hard for it – before his life got turned upside down in late 2021.

Before last year, his annual earnings were around the $1 million mark for three years.

But for those who think that's a lot of money, this publication understands he pays about $4500 per week for rent and food expenses.

He also has eight family members living at his residence.

Above all else, Bell has maintained his innocence and has previously raised this question: why would he expose his family to recreational drugs he had previously never heard of?

Why would he jeopardise everything he has worked so hard for when he's five years into a 10-year property lease?

Bell needs to win three races a week to make ends meet, but why would he risk all that he's earned for a 297m race at Dapto worth $1500, when he has had many of his greyhounds compete in finals?

It is also known that CCTV footage captured somebody in the kennelling area touching King Reed's head after the race in question on the night the dog tested positive.

There is no suggestion the mystery woman had traces of the banned recreational drugs on her.

But these are the variables which trainers need to be so careful with nowadays, some which simply seem out of their control.

READ: Andrew Suli calls for overhaul of drug code for greyhounds

Bell's mental health took a massive blow during the RAT proceedings, so much so that he sought professional medical advice from his GP.

He is about to go through that same kind of hell once again.

But this publication understands the main reason Bell has not backed down is because he wants to have the highly contentious rule concerning presentation of changed.

He wants governing bodies all around Australia to implement more lenient rules which can allow for minuscule amounts of recreational drugs to be found on greyhounds, particularly at public venues.

That is because contamination at these venues can come via the food or water the dogs consume, unknowing spectators, or anyone who comes in close contact with the greyhounds.

Contamination could even come via the air.

And it is a rule which is likely to continue to ruin livelihoods.

It is common knowledge among the greyhound industry that other trainers have pled guilty to drug or contamination because they could not afford the legal battles in front of them.

Not to mention the sapping emotional tolls involved with these cases.

And so, the David and Goliath battle continues between a family man who loves greyhound racing, and the might of GWIC – and now the Supreme Court.

The sad part for everyone is that fight will involve two taxpayer-funded government bodies, with Bell simply caught in the middle of it while he continues to dig into his own savings.

What a mess.

You could not write a script any crazier than this.

But it's become such an important struggle, and one which many people in greyhound racing believe the NSW GBOTA might want to support, simply by getting someone like high-profile media personality Ray Hadley on board.

Or One Nation NSW leader .

Latham, a passionate greyhound man, last week told this publication the government needed to offer trainers such as Bell financial support to fight these kinds of lengthy and expensive legal battles.

But on Monday, Latham's comments – and his preparedness to fight for people like Bell – drew criticism from a non-supporting “on-line” element.

“Government's got to provide some financial assistance so people can get the legal advice they need to defend themselves against GWIC, which is an over-funded, bloated organisation with their Taj Mahal at ,” Latham said, with the New South Wales election to be held on March 25.

READ: NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham calls for GWIC to be abolished

“GWIC has got plenty of resources and the battler hasn't.

“I can guarantee everyone in the greyhound industry that we will be continuing to fight, argue and put forward the case to help greyhounds with our numbers in the Upper House.”

When this whole drawn-out process finally comes to an end, the greyhound racing industry – as well as the horse and harness racing codes – might thank Bell and those who stood by him.

That's because this could be just the beginning in the never-ending struggle for well-overdue changes to the controversial prohibited-substance presentation rule.

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John pizanis
John pizanis
15 days ago

What a load of crap should of copped life drugs in dogs very dangerous on animal all for the dollers