LEADING conditioner Melinda Finn has become the first trainer to have greyhounds return a positive swab to the prohibited substance Recombinant Human Erythropoietin (EPO).
The positives were detected after Still Searchin’ won a heat of the Group 3 New Sensation and after Down Every Road won a semi-final of the Group 3 Magic Maiden and ran third in the final on Saturday April 4, 2015.
The reserve portion of the samples are yet to undergo further confirmatory testing by Racing Analytical Services VIC, with Greyhound Racing NSW Stewards to determine whether an inquiry will be held into the matter upon receiving those results.
Down Every Road and Still Searchin’ are now suspended from racing until they return a sample which is free of prohibited substances, with samples taken from both greyhounds at Finn’s Cranebrook property on Thursday.
Both greyhounds have been scratched from their respective races at Wentworth Park this Saturday night, however Finn will still have three runners engaged – Once A Drifter, Winsome Amanda and Winsome Señor.
Finn, along with her husband John, is one of the most respected conditioners in NSW, putting the polish on hot youngsters Winsome Jacko, Winsome Prince and Winsome Mission.
Australian Racing Greyhound contacted Finn who said she was “shattered”, but did not wish to make any comments at this stage.
In further news from NSW, GRNSW confirmed to Australian Racing Greyhound on Thursday night that the General Manager of Racing and Integrity, Bill Fanning, will be retiring on July 31.
His retirement comes after a tough few months in the sport of greyhound racing which has been rocked by the live-baiting scandal, following on from the ABC’s chilling Four Corners program titled ‘Making A Killing’.
As a result, the whole structure of the industry has been shaken up within the state, with the CEO of GRNSW Brent Hogan, as well as the entire board, stepping down from their positions in February.
Fanning has been in his position since 2009 and there is no news on a replacement.