Dubbo greyhounds President Shayne Stiff suspended over verbal tirade

Stewards' wrap

Licensed bookmaker, owner, trainer and breeder Shayne Stiff has been suspended by the NSW Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission (GWIC) over a furious and offensive verbal spray including racial slurs at a Bathurst greyhound meeting. According to the Greyhound Racing New South Wales (GRNSW) and Dubbo greyhound websites, Mr Stiff is still the current presiding Dubbo Greyhound Club President despite the outburst.

Stiff was yesterday suspended for nine months on three separate charges and fined $5,000 for improper conduct, using offensive language and actions detrimental to the image of greyhound racing. The charges relate to an incident at the Million Dollar Chase meeting held at Bathurst back in September 2019.

GWIC have blamed the delay on finalising the matter on “a change in decision-maker” which has lead the matter to being reheard in February 2020. Stiff has also requested three extensions in the sentencing process to reply to correspondence from the commission. Stiff formally requested the “decision maker” recuse themselves and GWIC obliged but they did not elaborate on what grounds this request was granted.

GWIC found that on the night of the Bathurst Million Dollar Chase Heats, around 300 people were present when “unbeknown to track staff and/or the Stewards, the metal gate or grate and two tyres which were pulled by the tractor to smooth the track after each race ended up on the track at the turn into the back straight, 15 to 20 metres from the catching pen area”. GWIC claim that the items were not visible to the Stewards from the Stewards’ Tower but were observed by the track staff and catchers from the catching pen area.

As attempts to alert the starter to delay the start of race seven were unsuccessful, a track attendant raced down to the track to remove the tyres but could not remove the metal gate due to the approaching lure.

GWIC found that shortly afterward Stiff was heard to be shouting “stop the fuckin race, this a no fuckin’ race, you are all fuckin’ idiots.”

Stiff then walked into the catching pen area while the race was still going, waved his arms about and shouted statements, including. “It’s a fucking no race” and “Hold your fuckin’ tickets, Bathurst always fucks with our dogs”. While the Club Official was walking down the track to the catching pen, Stiff, while looking at the club official said “you are a useless stupid black c**t”.

The club official then walked along the outside of the track and challenged Stiff to a fight, but an altercation did not ensue. Later as Stiff was walking towards the Stewards’ Tower, he was heard to utter profanities, such as “It’s a fucking no race ya fuckin’ idiot” and “It’s got to be a fuckin’ no race, the fucking tyres were on the track!”. Mr Stiff could be heard from the public betting area where members of the general public, including children, were present.

Stiff then entered the Stewards room and directed offensive language toward them including: “[You are a] fucking embarrassment to the industry” and “You fucking idiots, you fucking imbeciles, that cunt, cockhead staff members, this club’s a fucking joke” [sic].

Stiff was charged with a breach of Rules 86(f)(iv), 86(q) and 86(f)(i) of the Rules, which reads:

    R86: A person shall be guilty of an offence if the person- (f) engages in, publishes or causes to be published, broadcasts or causes to be broadcast, the use of any contemptuous, unseemly, improper, insulting, or offensive language, conduct or behaviour in any manner or form towards, or in relation to:

  • (i) a Steward;
  • (iv) any other person having official duties in relation to greyhound racing;
  • (q) commits or omits to do any act or engages in conduct which is in any way detrimental
    or prejudicial to the interest, welfare, image, control or promotion of greyhound racing.

Mr Stiff admitted the charges at the earliest opportunity and submissions were provided on his behalf by his legal representative.

GWIC found Stiff guilty of all charges and determined the following penalties:

    Charge 1 (Rule 86(f)(iv))

  • To suspend Mr Stiff’s bookmaker, trainer and breeder registrations for a period of 9 months with 5 months suspended for 12 months on the condition he does not breach Rule 86(f) or any like Rules within that 12 month period; and
  • To fine Mr Stiff in the sum of $5,000;
    Charge 2 (Rule 86(q))

  • To suspend Mr Stiff’s bookmaker, trainer and breeder registrations for a period of 3 months, wholly suspended for 12 months on the condition he does not breach Rule 86(q) or any like Rules during that 12 month period;
  • Charge 3 (Rule 86(f)(i)): To suspend Mr Stiff’s bookmaker, trainer and breeder registrations for a period of 6 months, with 2 months suspended for 12 months on the condition he does not breach Rule 86(f) or any like Rules during that 12 month period.

The three suspensions are to be served concurrently.

According to GWIC, Stiff has a prior breach of Rule 86(o) in his disciplinary history from 2008, considered by the Greyhound and Racing Appeals Tribunal at the time to be on the lower end of the scale of objective seriousness.

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