Greyhound Racing NSW Stewards last week concluded an inquiry into the analyst’s reports that the urine sample taken from Steve’s Mate after that greyhound had won Race 8, the Lolo Jones Bathurst Greyhound Of The Year Stake at Bathurst on 26 December 2011 had been analysed and found to contain the prohibited substance Norfluoxetine.
Norfluoxetine is a metabolite of the drug Fluoxetine, an anti-depressant more commonly known by one of its commercial brands, Prozac.
Evidence was taken from trainer Trevor Robinson, and Dr A Cawley from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory. Written evidence was entered from Dr C Suann the ARFL Senior Veterinarian, and Mr D Batty Deputy Laboratory Director Racing Analytical Services Victoria.
Mr Robinson pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a), in that he presented Steve’s Mate for the race in question other than free of a prohibited substance in that the urine sample taken from the greyhound was found to contain Norfluoxetine.
Mr Robinson could offer no explanation to Stewards as to the presence of Norfluoxetine, which is classed as an antidepressant, in the sample taken from Steve’s Mate. He conceded that security of his racing kennels is poor, although he did not believe this to be a contributing factor.
Mr Robinson was suspended for a period of two (2) months. In determining penalty, Stewards took into consideration Mr Robinson’s guilty plea, his unblemished 32 year period of registration, his voluntary work within the industry as a club committee man, and the particular circumstances presented in this case. Penalties for breaches of this rule involving similar substances were also considered.
Under GAR 83(4) Steve’s Mate was disqualified from the event, and placings were amended accordingly.