Greyhound Racing NSW Stewards last week finalised four inquiries into positive swabs obtained from three Russell Mansley trained and Lorraine Atchison owned greyhounds.
The inquiries followed from laboratory analysts’ report’s that urine samples taken from the greyhounds all returned positive to the prohibited substance Firocoxib, the active ingredient of the anti-inflammatory Previcox.
The positive swabs related specifically to Thrilling Bloom after that greyhound won Race 7 the Macro Meats Stake conducted by the GBOTA at Wentworth Park on February 10 2012; Low Key after that greyhound had won Race 3 the Virbac Sprint Series 1 Win Ht conducted by NCA at Betchoice Gardens on March 10 2012; and both Thrilling Frank and Thrilling Bloom after those greyhounds had finished first and second respectively in Race 7 the Betfair Cup Final conducted by the GBOTA at Wentworth Park on March 17 2012
Each positive swab had been confirmed to contain the prohibited substance Firocoxib.
Evidence was taken from Trainer Mr Russell Mansley, his wife Mrs Kerry Mansley, the owner of all four greyhounds Mrs Lorraine Atchison, the Science Manager of the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory Dr Adam Cawley and veterinarian Dr Brian Garratt of Belmont Vet Clinic. Written evidence was entered from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory, Racing Analytical Services (VIC) and ARFL Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann and Dr Garratt.
Evidence was given by Mr Mansley that based upon the advice of Dr Garratt, Mr Mansley had administered one tablet of Previcox to each of the greyhounds exactly 72 hours prior to competing in the abovementioned events.
Mr Mansley pleaded guilty to four separate charges under Greyhound Racing Rule 83 (2) (a) in that he had presented Thrilling Bloom, Low Key and Thrilling Frank for the races in question not free of a prohibited substance as the urine sample taken from the greyhounds were found to contain Firocoxib.
After considering submissions on penalty Mr Mansley was disqualified for a period of six (6) months for each of the four charges which is to be served concurrently.
In determining the penalty Stewards took into consideration:
- Mr Mansley’s lengthy involvement in the industry which included one previous conviction under the prohibited substance rules stemming from a race at Singleton in 2002
- his personal circumstances which includes a significant involvement in the industry
- the timing of the notification to Mr Mansley of the first irregularity which prevented him from undertaking steps to alter or cease the use of the Previcox prior to the subsequent samples being taken
- the nature of the substance involved (a non-steroidal anti inflammatory)
- the evidence from Dr Cawley outlining the estimated level of the Firocoxib in each of the samples
- the commonplace use of the prohibited substance displayed by Mr Mansley which includes his decision to “cut very fine” the advice given by Dr Garratt in recommending the use of the product “at least 72 hours” prior to racing
- the media alert issued by GRNSW warning members of the prolonged excretion time for the prohibited substance Firocoxib
- 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