Queenland Greyhound Racing Chairman Of Stewards, Mr Danny Ryan; has categorically denied that there is any link between the recent termination of one steward and the standing down of another pending investigation.
A Courier-Mail article earlier this week brought to the light that Mr Geoff Small recently had his position as Senior Steward with the QGRA terminated, and that Mr Chas Clifford, the Deputy Chairman Of Stewards with the QGRA, had been suspended pending “investigation”.
Mr Ryan today explained that the two recent moves were completely unrelated. “The decision to terminate the services of Mr Small was a board (QGRA Executive Board) decision and unrelated to the circumstances involving Mr Clifford”.
In contrast to the claims made in the Courier-Mail, Mr Ryan explained that Mr Small’s departure had in fact occurred some weeks ago, whereas the Clifford investigation was current.
It is understood that Mr Clifford has been stood down pending the outcome of a preliminary investigation by an external body in to Mr Clifford’s conduct. “The investigation has been launched internally from within (QGRA) and has not come as the result of a complaint or statement from the broader Queenland greyhound industry or the wider racing community”.
Mr Ryan emphatically denied those claims. “I can tell you both matters are wholly related to the greyhound industry”.
“As a matter of course, when a situation comes to light that involves racing integrity and is serious enought to warrant further investigation; it is only proper that an external body be engaged to further explore the circumstances and then make determinations as to where the matter should be further reffered” Mr Ryan explained.
“I am unable to make any further comment on the matter until that preliminary investigation has been completed” said Mr Ryan.
The General Manager of QGRA, Mr Darren Beavis; was unavailable for comment on the boards decision to terminate Mr Small and a spokesperson for the Queensland Office of Racing while acknowledging awareness of both incidents, was unable to comment.