18 Month Disqualification For Cocaine Positive Swab In Victorian Greyhound

Following advice from the 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 ‘Flying Machine’ at the Ballarat GRC meeting on 7 September, 2011.

During course of their investigation, Stewards heard evidence on 14 December, 2011 from Mr. Charles Meo (registered Owner of “Flying Machine”), Mr. Glenn Rounds (on behalf of licensed Trainer – Ms. Judy Hayley), Dr. David Batty (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Alistair Smith (Sandown Veterinary Clinic) and tabled two other statements taken from parties involved.

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Meo with breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rule 83(2) and (3) in that as the Owner, he did fail to present the greyhound ‘Flying Machine’ free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Ballarat GRC meeting on 7 September, 2011, given the post-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Benzoylecgonine.

The presence of Benzoylecgonine in the urine is a strong indicator of Cocaine use as the metabolite is formed in the liver as the Cocaine is metabolised by the body and subsequently excreted via the urinary system.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules this constituted a Serious Offence. As a result, on 7 February, 2012 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M of the Racing Act.

Mr. Charles Meo represented himself at the RADB Hearing.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel with GRV Steward – Mr. Ron Matthews in attendance.

Mr. Meo pleaded guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered, the RADB found Mr. Meo guilty as charged and disqualified his registration with Greyhound Racing Victoria for a period of 18 months (effective midnight 7 February, 2012).
Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified ‘Flying Machine’ from Race 2 at the Ballarat GRC meeting on 7 September, 2011 and amended the placings accordingly.

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