Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have completed an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Big Oz – after that greyhound won Race 5 at The Gardens meeting on Saturday 23 November 2013 – contained the prohibited substance amphetamine.
Evidence was taken from trainer Jim Magnisalis, owner/trainer Gene Pye and Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley. Written evidence was tendered from the ARFL, Racing Analytical Services, Victoria, Mr Magnisalis and GRNSW.
Evidence put forward showed that a kennel notification had not been entered showing the movement of Big Oz from Mr Pye into Mr Magnisalis’ care in early November. Having considered the evidence, stewards determined Mr Magnisalis had been responsible for the care and presentation of Big Oz on the day in question. No tangible reason could be given for the laboratory reports.
Mr Magnisalis subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Big Oz for the race in question other than free of any prohibited substance.
After considering submissions on penalty Mr Magnisalis was disqualified for a period of 12 months.
In considering penalty under the GRNSW penalty guidelines, factors taken into account included additional weighting given that the substance was a Category 2 substance and the previous penalties relative to such presentations, as well as the guilty plea submitted. Mitigating factors considered included Mr Magnisalis’ record of having only one previous offence involving prohibited substances in more than 20 years of registration, a comparatively low level of substance reported and his personal circumstances.
Under the provisions of GAR 83 (5), Biz Oz was disqualified from both the race on 23 November 2013 and the final conducted on 29 November 2013 and the placings amended accordingly.
Mr Magnisalis also pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 86 (h) of attempting to interfere with the carrying out of an investigation in regards to evidence given during the course of a telephone interview with GRNSW officials on 10 January 2014.
He was subsequently disqualified for a further two months, to be served cumulatively with the period above.
Mr Magnisalis was advised of his rights of appeal.