Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have concluded inquiries into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from She’s An Aussie – after that greyhound won race seven at the Wentworth Park meeting on 24 February 2014 – had been analysed and confirmed to contain the prohibited substance amphetamine.
The inquiry commenced at the Maitland Greyhound Club on 5 May 2014 and was adjourned to allow examination of evidence and scrutiny of security footage from the night in question. The inquiry was resumed at The Gardens track on 9 May 2014.
Evidence was taken from She’s An Aussie’s trainer Carol Howard, her son and fellow trainer Gavin Howard, trainer Michelle Bailey, GBOTA swab attendant Stephen McMahon and from Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley. Written evidence was submitted from ARFL Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann, the ARFL, Racing Analytical Services VIC, Ms Howard and GRNSW.
Ms Howard could offer no tangible reason for the laboratory reports. Examination of the analytical processes and sample collection on the night revealed no abnormality.
Ms Howard subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that she presented She’s An Aussie for the race in question other than free of any prohibited substance.
Following submissions on penalty, Ms Howard was disqualified for a period of 12 months. Given Ms Howard has already had her registration suspended from 3 April 2014 under GAR 92 (5), the disqualification is to conclude at midnight on 2 April 2015. In addition, under the provisions of GAR 95 (3), the final three months of the disqualification was stayed on the condition that Ms Howard does coming under the notice of the prohibited substance rules for a period of 12 months.
In assessing penalty consideration was given to Ms Howard’s record of having no breach of any rule during 18 years of registration, her guilty plea, a reasonably high number of previously cleared samples, her personal circumstances, family involvement in the industry and a relatively low level of the substance reported. Also considered were references submitted on behalf of Ms Howard detailing her voluntary contribution to greyhound racing in the Hunter region.
Under the provisions of GAR 83 (5), She’s An Aussie was disqualified from this event and the final conducted on 3 March 2014 where it ran sixth, and placings amended accordingly.