LEADING New South Wales trainer Melinda Finn is the first person in the greyhound industry to be found guilty of doping greyhounds with EPO.
Finn was slapped with a 12-year disqualification on Tuesday after being found guilty of the four breaches she was charged with under the prohibited substances rule, GAR 83(2).
The charges were as follows:
- Melinda Finn presented the greyhound Still Searchin to race at Wentworth Park on March 20, 2015, when it was not free of a prohibited substance.
- That Melinda Finn presented the greyhound Down Every Road to race at Wentworth Park on March 27, 2015, when it was not free of a prohibited substance.
- That Melinda Finn presented the greyhound Down Every Road to race at Wentworth Park on April 4, 2015, when it was not free of a prohibited substance.
- That Melinda Finn presented the greyhound Winsome Warrior to race at Wentworth Park on May 4, 2015, when it was not free of a prohibited substance.
The substances referred to in the charges was Recombinant Human Erythropoietin (EPO), which is a category two prohibited substance.
Finn entered a guilty plea to all charges. After considering the evidence, stewards imposed a 117 week-disqualification for each charge, whilst she was also issued an additional 156-weeks disqualification for cumulative aggravating factors on all charges.
All up, Finn will spend 12 years on the sidelines, with the penalty backdated to her original suspension which commenced on May 29, 2015.
Finn’s disqualification period started on Tuesday and will expire on December 20, 2027.
Finn’s case was the first time a greyhound has returned a positive sample to EPO which is a drug used to stimulate the bone marrow in order to produce extra red blood cells and haemoglobin.
This results in the blood having greater oxygen carrying capacity – meaning more oxygen gets to the muscles during exercise.
It can have a negative effect on the dog, with too high of a dose resulting in the blood becoming too thick and unable to pump around the body – something which could potentially cause the dog to have a heart attack.
Australian Racing Greyhound contacted Finn, who did not wish to make any comment at the present time, with the decision in the hands of her solicitors.
It is unknown yet whether Finn will appeal the disqualification, however we will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.