NSW Greyhound Trainer Alf Vella Handed Four Month Ban For Caffeine Positive Swab

Greyhound Racing NSW Stewards on 23rd August conducted an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Diesel Roc after that greyhound won Race 4 at the meeting conducted by the Dubbo GRC at Dubbo on 16 June 2011 contained the prohibited substances Caffeine, Theobromine, Theophylline and Paraxanthine.

Evidence was taken from Trainer Alfred Vella, John Keledjian the General Manager of the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory and licenced Trainer Mr Geoffrey Sheather.

Written evidence was entered from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory, Racing Science Centre (QLD) and ARFL Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann.

Mr Vella pleaded guilty to a charge under Greyhound Racing Rule 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Diesel Roc for the race in question not free of a prohibited substance as the urine sample taken from the greyhound was found to contain Caffeine, Theobromine, Theophylline and Paraxanthine.

After considering submissions on penalty Mr Vella was disqualified for a period of four (4) months and fined the sum of $1000 in lieu of a greater disqualification.

In determining the penalty Stewards took into consideration Mr Vella’s unblemished record in relation to this Rule over a 5 year period in the industry, the nature of the substance involved (a stimulant with the potential to improve racetrack performance), the evidence from Mr Keledjian that the level of the prohibited substances found this sample was in the medium to high range and most likely to have been administered on raceday, Mr Vella’s inability to provide Stewards with a plausible explanation as to the finding of the substances, 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.

Under Greyhound Racing Rule 83 (4) Diesel Roc was disqualified from the race in question and the placings amended accordingly.

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