GREYHOUND Racing Victoria (GRV) has announced they have recommenced the three year disqualification handed down to former champion trainer Graeme Bate following an investigation into an alleged breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rule (GAR) 99 (3) (g) which found he did enter or remain on a property where greyhounds were being kept.
Bate had previously been disqualified by the Racing Appeals and Disiplinary Board (RADB) for two years on June 10, 2014. He was found guilty on six charges including deliberately administering a prohibited substance to a racing greyhound, failing to present a greyhound free of a prohibited substance to race, making false or misleading statements to Stewards and procuring Hysone tablets containing the prohibited substance Hydrocortison for the purpose of administering to greyhounds.
The RADB was informed that between August 2012 and July 2013 Bate procured 6000 20mg Hysone tablets on behalf of another trainer, his son-in-law Peter Hunt, and administered hydrocortisone, in the form of the tablets, to Hunt’s dogs without his knowledge or permission.
It was revealed Bate obtained up to 7200 hysone 20mg tablets between May 2012 and April 2013, with the tablets thought to have performance enhancing benefits including reducing inflammation and fatigue and increasing resistance to pain.
The disqualification came the year after Bate was suspended after one of his dogs returned a positive swab to an elevated level of testosterone.
If that wasn’t enough, GRV Stewards then decided to appeal the RADB’s decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) on the grounds that they felt the penalty was too lenient. The VCAT then increased the disqualification to a period of three years on October 21, 2014.
However, with the new developments, Bate’s disqualification period has now recommended as of February 27, 2015, effectively re-starting the sentence.
The CEO of GRV, Adam Wallish, said rule breaches within the greyhound racing industry will not be tolerated.
“If you break the rules in greyhound racing you will be caught and you will be punished,” Wallish said.
“There’s is no place in this sport for people that believe they can get away with rule breaches.
“Our investigatory and enforcement arm will identify people that aren’t doing the right thing and will bring forward cases against them.”
GRV have told Australian Racing Greyhound that Bate’s penalty will not have any effect on trainer Jenny Hunt, who took over the training of his large team of greyhounds when he was disqualified.
IN SA, Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA) Stewards announced all greyhounds trained by Karen Bearpark are prohibited from racing until further notice following on from a kennel inspection conducted at her property on March 26, 2015.
GRSA advised that they will be conducting an inquiry into the matter with details including a date and time to be advised, but refuse to release any further details.
The annoucement caused the scratchings of 10 dogs from the Gawler meeting on Sunday and three from the Gawler meeting on Tuesday.
Bearpark is the partner of leading SA greyhound veterinarian, John Katakasi, and is a veterinary nurse at the Adelaide Plains Veterinary Clinic.
IN QUEENSLAND, 25-year-old James Harding appeared before the Ipswich Magistrates Court on Monday and was charged with six counts of serious animal cruelty.
The case was adjourned for a committal hearing on July 1, 2015.
Harding was one of six greyhound racing participants who were warned off for life following on from the live-baiting scandal which has engulfed the entire greyhound racing industry. The charges come after Tom Noble, whose private trial track was at the centre of the saga, faced court on similar animal cruelty charges earlier this month.
The Queensland State Government introduced the offence of serious animal cruelty in 2014, with a guilty verdict carrying a maximum penalty of seven years in gaol.
Also in Queensland, four suspended greyhound trainers avoided life bans on Tuesday after their respective inquiries concluded and found there was insufficient evidence to lay serious charges against them in relation to engaging in improper practices of live baiting.
Anthony Hess, Stephen Sherwell, Mick Emery and Stephen Arnold were all charged with a breach of Local Rule 52(3) which reads:
“A licensed or registered person who takes, or permits a greyhound in respect of which he is licensed or registered or which is under his control to be on a training track that is not operated by a Club or licensed training track proprietor, shall be guilty of an offence.”
Each trainer pleaded guilty to the charge, with Racing Queensland Stewards determining that each had already served an adequate suspension for the charge, subsequently lifting their embargoes immediately.