(2) Mr. Robert Hayes on or about Friday, 20 June 2014 did in relation to greyhound racing, administer to the greyhound Well Advertised the substance Testaprop, resulting in a swab irregularity at the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club meeting on Friday, 27 June 2014, in circumstances which were negligent, improper or constituted misconduct.
Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of a pre-race urine sample taken from the greyhound Well Advertised at the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Friday, 27 June 2014.
During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Robert Hayes, Mr. Paul Zahra (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer).
Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules a breach of GAR83 (2)(3)(6)and GAR86 (o) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Thursday, 20 November 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. Robert Hayes represented himself via telephone.
Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.
Mr. Robert Hayes pleaded guilty to the charges.
After hearing all the evidence tendered and having regard to GAR83 (2)(3)(6) and GAR86 (o), the RADB determined that:
(a) In relation to charge (1), Mr. Hayes was guilty as charged and disqualified him for 9 months (with 5 months of this penalty suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR83 during the 12 month period), effective from Tuesday, 25 November 2014.
(b) In relation to charge (2), Mr. Hayes was fined $500 (wholly suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR86).
Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified Well Advertised from Event 5 – The Bendigo Advertiser Ht1 Grade 5, Heat – at the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Friday, 27 June 2014 and amended the placing’s accordingly.
In assessing the penalties, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:
(a) Mr. Hayes’s guilty plea;
(b) The nature of the prohibited substance 5Beta-Androstane-3alpha,17Beta-DIOL when present at a mass concentration greater than 10ng/mL;
(c) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing and ensure a level playing field for all participants;
(d) Prior penalties for similar offences; and
(e) Mr. Hayes’s character and his clean history for more than 40 years’ in the greyhound industry.
(f) The need for general deterrence as a factor in sentencing and having regard to the number of similar offences coming before the Board.
The clampdown on Testaprop etc Australia wide has been well publicised, but in this instance the penalty seems harsh. Although the fine is wholly suspended, it appears as though one positive swab has been used to create two separate offences. You would have thought that 40 years of history would help create a substantially lighter sentence, which doesn’t seem to be the case here.