Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) Stewards on Thursday 18 October inquired into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Alistair Tanga after that greyhound won Race eight, the Betezy Maitland to City Heat three at the meeting conducted by the Maitland Greyhound Club on 21 June 2012, contained the prohibited substance Pholcodine.
Evidence was taken from owner/trainer Eric Sharman, Science Manager of the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Dr Adam Cawley and GRNSW Chief Racing Veterinarian Dr Brian Daniel.
Written evidence was entered from the ARFL, Racing Analytical Services (VIC) and ARFL Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann.
Mr Sharman gave evidence during the inquiry of having administered at least two doses of the human cough suppressant Duro Tuss Dry Cough Forte, which contains Pholcodine. The admitted dose was in excess of any recommended dose rate for the substance, which has no veterinary application. The last administration occurred approximately 60 hours prior to the race, which contrasted with veterinary advice that if the product was to be administered it should have been given no closer than three weeks prior to any engagement.
Mr Sharman subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge under Greyhound Racing Rule 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Alistair Tanga for the race in question not free of a prohibited substance as the urine sample taken from the greyhound was found to contain Pholcodine.
After considering submissions on penalty Mr Sharman was fined $800.
In determining the penalty Stewards took into consideration Mr Sharman’s unblemished record of having no rule breach in more than 40 years of licencing history, his guilty plea and his co-operation with the inquiry, the nature of the substance involved, previous penalties in the relation to the rule and this substance, that there was no significant wagering on Alistair Tanga, and Mr Sharman’s contribution to the industry as a race club director and official. Notwithstanding these factors, a certain amount of negligence was exposed with the administration of a non veterinary product without seeking advice as to its properties. Some deterrent measure was therefore implied.
Under Greyhound Racing Rule 83 (5) Alistair Tanga was disqualified from this race and the final conducted at Wentworth Park on 29 June 2012, and the placings amended accordingly.