Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have completed an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Kiowa Star – after that greyhound won Race 3 at the Lismore Greyhound Club’s meeting on 5 March 2013 – had been analysed and confirmed to contain the testosterone metabolite 5-beta androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol at a level in excess of 10 ng/ml in urine as specified in GAR 83 (6) as an exempted level in urine taken from a bitch.
Held in conjunction was an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from That’s My Cloud – after that greyhound won Race 4 at the Grafton Greyhound Club’s meeting on 4 April 2013 – had also been confirmed to contain the metabolite in excess of 10 ng/ml.
Evidence was taken from trainer Gavin Lowe and Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley. Written evidence was submitted from ARFL Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann, the ARFL, Chem Centre WA and GRNSW.
The inquiry heard Mr Lowe had adopted a practice of administering .25 mls of the preparation Tepro on Monday of each week and prior to any bitch in his care racing. Tepro is known to contain twice the level of testosterone propionate than that in testoprop, which is the recommended product for oestrus suppression. In respect of the concentration of the metabolite in each sample, the evidence was consistent with the relatively high concentration detected in the sample taken from Kiowa Star and the lesser level detected in the sample from That’s My Cloud. This occurred despite warnings on Tepro and other preparations given to participants in material and seminars during September, October and November 2012.
Mr Lowe subsequently pleaded guilty to two charges under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Kiowa Star and That’s My Cloud for the races in question other than free of any prohibited substance.
Following submissions on penalty, Mr Lowe was fined $2,000 for the presentation of Kiowa Star. In respect of the presentation of That’s My Cloud, he was fined $1,750.
As has been the case with other inquiries involving 5beta-androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol, both in NSW and in other greyhound racing jurisdictions, a measure of leniency was extended in both matters as stewards were mindful that this was one of the first reports of the presence at excessive levels of this substance in a greyhound sample in NSW after the introduction of the rule on 1 January 2013.
In assessing penalty consideration was also given to Mr Lowe’s previously unblemished record during more than 20 years of registration, a high number of cleared samples taken during this period, his guilty plea, the levels of the substance reported, his professional status in the industry, his assistance to both the inquiry and on notification of the irregularity, references supplied and the absence of any significant kennel support for either Kiowa Star or That’s My Cloud.
Notwithstanding these factors a measure of negligence had been shown in the administration of tepro and that a measure of both specific and general deterrence should be implied in these circumstances.
The greyhounds were disqualified from their respective events and the placings amended accordingly.