The substances found have not been confirmed but were believed to be growth hormone. If that’s the case Sarkis would be the first trainer in any racing code in Australia to have been found to have used growth hormone, despite decades of its rumoured use in all codes.
GRNSW board member Peter Davis feels like a victim
Sacked GRNSW board member and Fairfax journalist Peter Davis on Thursday told Sky Sports Radio he “feels like a victim”, adding he “was in the right place at the wrong time”. Davis, who once owned and raced a greyhound named Amongst Thieves which was trained by Darren McDonald, says his greyhounds have “never seen a bunny … or anything else” and that “Brent Hogan is the best racing administrator racing has ever seen”.
Davis and his fellow board members were reportedly given the option to stand down or be sacked on Wednesday night.
Seized greyhounds in Queensland have uncertain future
Racing Queensland has confirmed to Australian Racing Greyhound it now has approximately 100 greyhounds in its care following a series of raids. The greyhounds were seized on the basis they may have been exposed to a practice which could compromise their welfare.
Veterinarians have inspected each greyhound to ensure the animals’ health and well-being. RQ will continue to have oversight of the welfare of any greyhounds seized.
RQ said “any owner, whose greyhound has been seized, and who wishes their dog to be returned to their ownership, is encouraged to contact RQ’s licensing department”.
The fate of high-profile and high-worth greyhounds such as Happy Haswell, owned by Reg Kay, is as yet unknown.
GRV names 10 and stands down a further five
Late on Thursday afternoon Greyhound Racing Victoria confirmed the 10 suspended registered greyhound participants and alleged offenders as: Paul Anderton, Kerry Chalker, Chris Connelly, Laurie Cunningham, Dennis Dean, Neville King, Darren McDonald, Anthony Mills, Stuart Mills, and Bob Smith.
Notably, as reported earlier, Anderton is a former GRV steward; King was at the time the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club president; Smith is a former operations and integrity manager of GRV; and, McDonald has been considered one of the most successful trainers of the past two decades.
GRV also announced another five participants have been stood down following review of video footage, but has declined to name them.
Close to 40 participants have been stood down nationwide, including some of the sport’s most prominent trainers. It is not yet known exactly how many registered participants will be implicated in total, however, Queensland Animal Liberation, which conducted the live-baiting investigation in conjunction with the RSPCA and Animals Australia, has estimated the figure to be 70.
Huge fines and jail terms are possible for those found guilty under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
GRV announces only artificial lures permitted
The board of GRV has resolved that only artificial materials are permitted for use as a lure for the purpose of training a greyhound. This is effective immediately.
The decision means trainers will no longer be able to use dead animal carcasses or skins on the arm of a lure as a reward for their greyhound.
Controversy surrounds Temlee night at The Meadows
Brad Canty has threatened to put an injunction on The Meadows racing on Saturday night if his greyhound, Awesome Project, is not reinstated in the field for the Group 1 Temlee.
Trained for most of his career by Darren McDonald, Awesome Project was one of the greyhounds stood down from competing after his trainer was also stood down for alleged live-baiting practices.
“If the dog is not reinstated, we’ll be getting the race stopped and pretty confident that will happen,” Canty said.
“No one rang us … we heard nothing … they [GRV] have no idea what they’re doing.”
Also implicated by suspension is NSW star Zipping Willow, which was transferred to McDonald’s kennel just days before he was stood down in order to compete in the lucrative Australian Cup carnival. She had drawn box one in the invitation-only Temlee.
Staying on Temlee night, and it is expected a large group of animal activists will be holding a protest at The Meadows on Saturday. GRV CEO Adam Wallish said they were preparing for action such as this with increased security set to be in place.
”There has been a lot of planning and investment [that has gone into the carnival], it is an event that is steeped in history and some of the best greyhounds from around the country will be participating,” he said. “We are hopeful that it will be an uninterrupted and successful event.”
More sponsors pull the pin on greyhound racing
The list of sponsors which have pulled their sponsorship for greyhound racing has continued to grow. Mazda, Schweppes, Hyundai, Autobarn, Bendigo Bank, Century 21 and Macro Meats have all reportedly cut ties with the sport after the damning live-baiting footage that was shown on the ABC’s Four Corners program on Monday night.
As greyhound racing continues to lose valuable sponsors, Greens MP John Kaye has called for an immediate suspension of the sport.
“Trainers live-bait their dogs to give them a winning edge. All races must be suspended to stop these participants profiting from their unconscionable behaviour and the opportunity for any incentive for the practice to continue,” he said.
Amanda Hill stands by her statements
Amanda Hill, the former GRV steward who appeared on Four Corners, stands by what she said in the show despite a backlash from many greyhound racing participants. Australian Racing Greyhound spoke with Hill and on Friday will feature a full interview about her decision to appear on the ABC’s program and her thoughts on the future of greyhound racing.