GRNSW Stewards on Monday 18 April conducted an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Day Seas Cracker, after that greyhound won race five at Betchoice Gardens on Friday 11 February this year, contained the prohibited substance caffeine and its metabolites, theophylline, paraxanthine and theobromine.
Evidence was taken from trainer John Stewart and Dr John Keledjian, the Operations Manager of the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL). Written evidence was entered from the ARFL, Chem Centre WA and ARFL Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann.
No compelling evidence was adduced in relation to the administration of the substance, however Mr Stewart gave evidence of apparent security deficiencies around the kennels. No evidence of substantial kennel support was indicated.
Mr Stewart was subsequently found guilty of a charge under Greyhound Racing Rule 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Day Seas Cracker for the race in question not free of a prohibited substance as the urine sample taken from the greyhound was found to contain caffeine and its metabolites.
After considering submissions on penalty Mr Stewart was disqualified for seven months. In determining the penalty Stewards took into consideration Mr Stewart’s record in relation to this Rule over a lengthy period in the industry, which showed one previous penalty involving this substance in October 2007, his not guilty plea, the nature of the substance involved which is considered as a stimulant in the greyhound, a relatively high level of substance analysed, previous penalties in the relation to the Rule and this substance, and the effects that such findings have on the image of greyhound racing. Mr Stewart’s personal circumstances were also considered, with no greyhounds in his kennel at this time.
Under Greyhound Racing Rule 83 (4) Day Seas Cracker was disqualified from the race in question and the placings amended accordingly.