Fine Only For Reg Kay’s Positive Swab To Pentobarbital

Greyhound Racing New South Wales must have invested in Greyhound Racing Victoria’s integrity systems, as they have only just released details of their Stewards inquiry in to the much rumoured positive swab by the Reg Kay trained State Swap to the restricted drug Pentobarbital.

While the rumour mill has gone in to overdrive since Monday’s stewards inquiry, for some unknown reason it has taken three days for GRNSW to communicate the findings to the public.

Rumours that the recently relocated ex-Queensland greyhound trainer had received only a $1000 fine for the positive swab seem to have been on the mark.

Greyhound Racing NSW has today confirmed that the inquiry was held Monday 24th May 2010, and that the inquiry was conducted after State Swap swabbed positive to the prohibited substance Pentobarbital after that greyhound won Race 2 at the Maitland greyhound Club’s meeting on Thursday 11 February 2010.

The reason, if any, for the three and a half month delay before conducting the inquiry remains a mystery.

And a cavalcade of guests and legal representatives were present. Evidence was taken from Trainer Mr Reg Kay, Mr Sam Cauchi, Mr Chris Cauchi, Mr Terry Hill, Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory Science manager Dr Andrew McKinney and Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann. Written evidence was entered from the ARFL, the WA Chem Centre Mr Kay’s legal representatives and Woy Woy Produce Supplies.

Mr Kay subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that he presented State Swap for the race in question other than free of prohibited substances in that the analysis of the urine sample taken after the race found it to contain pentobarbital. Mr Kay was subsequently fined $1000. State Swap was also disqualified as winner of the event.

According to the inquiry report, GRNSW stewards determined that a fine only was an appropriate penalty given the particular circumstances of the case, “which lent towards an inadvertent administration of a substance not normally administered to healthy greyhounds, previous penalties applied in similar cases, Mr Kay’s previously unblemished record over many years of successful involvement in the industry, his guilty plea and references tendered on his behalf”.

In this case GRNSW Stewards seem to be convinced the drug was somehow introduced in to the dogs system by contamination, most likely of the beef mince fed to the greyhound; hence the evidence from Woy Woy Produce Supplies.

This determination will cause quite a bit of angst amongst the greyhound community as there seems to have been no attempt by GRNSW stewards to investigate the widely held belief in some quarters, that low doses of Pentobarbital can be used to “lift” a greyhound.

Although Pentobarbital is the main ingredient in what is colloquially known as “Green Dream”, a veterinary euthanasia drug; its use in dead, diseased, dying or down cattle seems to be disputed.

And it seems greyhound stewards nationwide are all of the opinion that any positive swab to Pentobarbital is more than likely an accidental positive through beef contamination, as Greyhounds Queensland stewards just last week found Queensland greyhound trainer Neil Catchpole guilty of a positive swab to Pentobarbitone and only imposed a $1,000 fine.

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