Luke Azzopardi Fined For Dexamethasone Positive In New South Wales

Greyhound Racing NSW Stewards on Wednesday 28 March 2012 inquired into analyst’s reports that the urine sample taken from Jayla Rogue after that greyhound finished fourth in Race 9, the Globe Memorial Stake 5th Grade 520m, run at the Wentworth Park meeting on Saturday 19 November 2011, had been analysed and confirmed to contain the prohibited substance Dexamethasone.

Evidence was taken from trainer Mr Luke Azzopardi and Dr John Keledjian, General Manager of the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory. Written evidence was entered from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory and the Racing Science Centre (QLD).

The evidence established that Mr Azzopardi administered a small dose of the registered veterinary injectable preparation known as Trimedexil within the week prior to the race in question, with the resultant analysis indicating a low level of Dexamethasone present in a pre-race urine sample taken from Jayla Rogue.

Mr Azzopardi subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge under Greyhound Racing Rule 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Jayla Rogue for the race in question other than free of a prohibited substance in that the urine sample taken from the greyhound prior to the race was found to contain the prohibited substance Dexamethasone.

After considering submissions on penalty, Mr Azzopardi was fined $1000. In determining penalty Stewards took into consideration Mr Azzopardi’s co-operation with the inquiry, his previously unblemished record in relation to this Rule in over 40 years involvement in the industry, the volume of urine samples taken from greyhounds trained by Mr Azzopardi in recent years without blemish, his personal standing within the industry, the nature of the substance involved, previous penalties given to other persons in relation to the same Rule, and the effects that such findings have on the image of greyhound racing.