The greyhound was withdrawn at the direction of Stewards after a kennel inspection the afternoon of the race at the registered address of trainer Herbert Koberler disclosed that Just Joking was not kennelled there, contrary to advice contained within a Kennel Notification submitted 20 September 2012.
A subsequent investigation revealed that Just Joking was domiciled at the kennels of James Zahra, who was disqualified after unsuccessfully appealing before the Racing Appeals Tribunal on Monday 24 September 2012.
Evidence was taken from Mr Koberler and Mr Zahra. Written evidence was submitted from GRNSW Steward Richard Zogbee.
Mr Koberler pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 86(d) in that he falsified a document in connection with greyhound racing.
Mr Zahra pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 86(n) in that he counselled a person to commit a breach of the rules.
Mr Koberler was suspended for a period of two months. In determining penalty Stewards took into consideration Mr Koberler’s unblemished record in 42 years of registration, his guilty plea, and the need to enforce to industry participants that integrity cannot be compromised and that severe penalties will result for such breaches.
Mr Zahra was disqualified for a period of two months, with the period to commence at the expiration of his current disqualification. In determining penalty Stewards took into consideration Mr Zahra’s guilty plea, his contrition for his actions and the strong message to participants for the need to uphold the integrity of the industry.
Both gentleman were advised of their right of appeal.