Ken Virtue Fined $1500 For Positive Swabs

CHARGES

(1) Mr. Virtue did fail to present the greyhound Banjo Boy free of any prohibited substance for an event at Sandown Greyhound Racing Club on the Thursday, 19 September 2013, given the post-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Cimetidine.

(2) Mr. Virtue did fail to present the greyhound free of any prohibited substance for an event at Sandown Greyhound Racing Club on the Thursday, 26 September 2013, given the pre-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Cimetidine.

(3) Mr. Virtue did fail to present the greyhound Banjo Star free of any prohibited substance for an event at Sandown Greyhound Racing Club on the Thursday, 3 October 2013, given the pre-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Cimetidine.

(4) Mr. Virtue did fail to present the greyhound Banjo Boy free of any prohibited substance for an event at Warragul Greyhound Racing Club on the Tuesday, 29 October 2013, given the pre-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Cimetidine.

(5) Mr. Virtue did fail to present the greyhound Banjo Boy free of any prohibited substance for an event at Sandown Greyhound Racing Club on the Thursday, 14 November 2013, given the pre-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Cimetidine.

(6) Alternatively to charge (5), Mr. Virtue did attempt to commit a breach of the GRV in that he, the trainer of the greyhound Banjo Boy which was nominated to compete in an event, namely, Race 8, the TAB Melbourne Cup Special Event Heat 6, conducted by the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club at Sandown on 14 November 2013, did attempt on that date to present the greyhound not free of any prohibited substance, given that a pre-race urine sample taken
from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Cimetidine.

REPORT:

Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of a post-race urine sample taken from the greyhound Banjo Boy at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club on Thursday, 19 September 2013; a pre-race urine sample taken from the greyhound Banjo Boy at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club on Thursday, 26 September 2013; a pre-race urine sample taken from the greyhound Banjo Star at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club on Thursday, 3 October 2013; a post-race urine sample taken from the greyhound Banjo Boy at the Warragul Greyhound Racing Club on Tuesday, 29 October 2013; and a pre-race urine sample taken from the greyhound Banjo Boy at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club on Thursday, 14 November 2013.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. , Mr. David Batty (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer).
After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Virtue with breaches of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83(2) and (3) as follows:

(1) that he did fail to present the greyhound Banjo Boy free of any prohibited substance for an event Sandown Greyhound Racing Club on Thursday, 19 September 2013;

(2) that he did fail to present the greyhound Banjo Boy free of any prohibited substance for an event at Sandown Greyhound Racing Club on Thursday, 26 September 2013;

(3) that he did fail to present the greyhound Banjo Star free of any prohibited substance for an event at Sandown Greyhound Racing Club on Thursday, 3 October 2013;

(4) that he did fail to present the greyhound Banjo Boy free of any prohibited substance for an event at Warragul Greyhound Racing Club on Tuesday, 29 October 2013;

(5) that he did fail to present the greyhound Banjo Boy free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club on Thursday, 14 November 2013;

Given that the urine samples in all instances indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Cimetidine.

As an alternative to charge (5), Stewards also charged Mr. Virtue with a breach of GAR86(m) in that he did attempt to commit a breach of the GRV Rules in that he the trainer of the greyhound Banjo Boy which was nominated to compete in an event, namely, Race 8, the TAB Melbourne Cup Special Event Heat 6, conducted by the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club at Sandown on 14 November 2013, did attempt on that date to present the greyhound not free of any prohibited substance, given that a pre-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Cimetidine.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules breaches of GAR83 (2) and (3) and as charged, GAR86 (m), constitute Serious Offences. As a result, on Thursday, 17 April 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Local Racing Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M(1) of the Racing Act.

Mr. Ken Virtue represented himself.

Mr. Paul Holdenson QC instructed by Mr. Patrick Considine of Corrs, Chambers, Westgarth represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Ken Virtue pleaded guilty to the charges (1) to (5). Charge (6) was then withdrawn by the Stewards.

After hearing all the evidence tendered, the RADB determined that Mr. Virtue was guilty as charged and fined him a total of $1,500 on charges (1) to (5). The RADB took into account the following matters in assessing the penalty:

(a) Cimetidine is a category 1 prohibited substance under the prohibited substance Penalty Guidelines published by GRV.
(b) Evidence indicated that there were no previous greyhound positive swabs, to Cimetidine, but it fell within the definition of “prohibited substance” under the GRV Rules.
(c) Mr. Virtue pleaded guilty to charges (1) to (5).
(d) Mr Virtue was not made aware of the results of the first three positive swabs (the result of the fourth swab was still pending) until the morning of the fifth , and he attempted to “clean out” the greyhound prior to the running of that evening‟s event.
(e) The general deterrent effect of drug-free racing to promote a level playing field for all participants in greyhound racing.
(f) Mr. Virtue has been a registered person for 40 years with only one prior offence just over 25 years ago.

Acting under GAR83 (4) and/or (5); the RADB disqualified Banjo Boy from Event 8 – Macro Meats Free For All – at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Thursday, 19 September 2013 and amended the placings accordingly.

Acting under GAR83 (4) and/or (5); the RADB disqualified Banjo Boy from Event 9 – Melbourne Cup Prelude 4 – at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Thursday, 26 September 2013 and amended the placings accordingly.

Acting under GAR83 (4) and/or (5); the RADB disqualified Banjo Star from Event 5 – www.tab.com.au Heat 2 715m – at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Thursday, 3 October 2013 and amended the placings accordingly.

Acting under GAR83 (4) and/or (5); the RADB disqualified Banjo Boy from Event 8 – Find On Facebook Grade 4 – at the Warragul Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 and amended the placings accordingly.

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