Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) Stewards on Wednesday 3 July 2013 conducted an inquiry into the analyst’s reports of the finding of Xylazine in the urine sample taken from Sunset Magic after that greyhound won Race 2, the Brandolini Media Services Maiden Stake, 392 metres, run at the Taree meeting on Monday 28 January 2013.
Evidence was taken from Sunset Magic’s trainer Dale Leard, trainer John Munro and Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley, with written evidence tendered from GRNSW Stewards and Racing NSW Head Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann.
Mr Leard could not offer a definitive reason for the presence of the substance, which is associated with substances used for euthanasia of bovine animals. The possibility that contaminated meat may have been responsible for the finding could not be ruled out by evidence presented in relation to the associated reports.
Mr Leard subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) of having been responsible for the presentation of Sunset Magic for the race in question other than free of any prohibited substance in that the urine sample taken from that greyhound after the race was found to contain xylazine.
Mr Leard was subsequently fined $500.
In considering penalty, Stewards took into account such factors as Mr Leard’s record of having not come under notice of Stewards for any offence in an eight year licensing history, a number of cleared samples in that period, representations placed before Stewards on his behalf by Mr Munro, his guilty plea and presentation during the inquiry. Also considered were the nature of this substance, which is considered to be a Category 5 substance in the prohibited substance rankings in NSW and its very low level present in the urine sample. Stewards also took into account Mr Leard’s personal circumstances of being a hobby trainer with limited resources but also an indication that he will be increasing his involvement in the near future.
Notwithstanding the above considerations, Stewards are mindful of the potential for damage to the industry reputation caused by such reports and that any prohibited substance matter determined with such circumstances must be met with a penalty.
Under GAR 83 (4), Sunset Magic was disqualified from the race in question and the placings amended accordingly.