Greyhound Racing NSW stewards concluded an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Seven Sevens after that greyhound won Race 4 at the Bulli meeting on Wednesday 31 July 2013, had been analysed and found to contain the prohibited substances boldenone and its metabolite, androsta-1, 4-diene-3, 17-dione.
The inquiry had been adjourned from 25 November 2013 to allow entry of veterinary and analytical records. Evidence was taken over the two days from trainer Justin King, owner John Gale and Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory Operations Manager Dr John Keledjian. Written evidence was also taken from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory, Racing Science Centre Queensland, Mr King and Mr Gale.
Mr King pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Seven Sevens for the race in question other than free of any prohibited substance in that the urine sample taken from the greyhound was found to contain boldenone and its metabolite, androsta-1, 4-diene-3, 17-dione.
Boldenone is most commonly found in the anabolic steroid Drive, which was a commonly used steroid to keep bitches off season and also increase agressiveness, confidence and chase in timid greyhounds. Its use was effectively banned in racing greyhounds in 2008.
Mr King was subsequently suspended for three months and fined $1,500. Under GAR 95 (3), two months of the penalty was suspended on the condition that Mr King incurs no penalty under the prohibited substance rules in the ensuing 12 months. In determining penalty, stewards took into account Mr King’s guilty plea and his record in relation to prohibited substances, which showed that this was his only offence in more than 18 years of training.
Also considered was his record of having upwards of 50 samples taken in the previous five years, his personal presentation at the inquiry and his recent significant investment in the industry. Although no conclusive finding could be made as to administration of the substance involved, consideration was given to the possibility that the substance was in some way introduced to the greyhound prior to Mr King taking care of it only two weeks prior to the race. Other samples taken in and around that period from greyhounds prepared by Mr King had returned clear of any substance. There was also found to be a relatively low level of the substance reported.
Notwithstanding these mitigating factors stewards considered the absolute liability attached to this offence, with a measure of general deterrence to be applied. There was no indication of significant support for Seven Sevens.
As this race was the first leg of a series, acting under GAR 83 (5) Seven Sevens was disqualified from the 31 July 2013 event and the final conducted on 14 August 2013 and the placings amended accordingly.