LEADING NSW trainer Melinda Finn has had her licensed suspended by Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) after it was confirmed two of her greyhounds returned positive swab samples to the permanently banned substance Recombinant Human Erythropoietin (EPO).
The affected swab samples were taken after Down Every Road and Still Searchin’ competed in the Golden Easter Carnival at Wentworth Park earlier this year.
Still Searchin’ returned a positive to EPO after winning a heat of the Group 3 New Sensation on March 20, while Down Every Road showed the presence of the drug in samples taken after winning a semi final of the Group 3 Magic Maiden on March 27 and finishing third in the final on April 4, 2015.
Finn’s suspension comes after news broke of the swab irregularities on May 28, however no further action was taken at that time pending the result of the reserve portion of the sample. Finn has now been suspended under GAR 92 (5) which reads:
Pending the decision or outcome of an inquiry, the Controlling Body or Stewards may direct that-
(a) if the inquiry directly or indirectly involves or is connected with a greyhound, then the greyhound shall not be permitted to compete in or be nominated for any Event; and
(b) if the inquiry directly or indirectly involves or is connected with an owner or trainer, then no greyhound owned by the owner or trained by the trainer shall be permitted to compete in or be nominated for any Event; and
(c) a licence or other type of authority or permission be suspended.
It is the first time that a greyhound has returned a positive sample to EPO, a drug used to improve the oxygen delivery to muscles which results in an increased capacity to endurance.
Finn will now face an inquiry into the matter on Wednesday July 22, 2015.