Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have concluded an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Crackin Sort – after it won Race 9 at the Richmond meeting on Wednesday 31 July 2013 – had been analysed and confirmed to contain the prohibited substance 5b-androstane-3a, 17b-diol at a concentration in excess of 20 ng/ml, constituting an offence when reported in a sample taken from a bitch.
Evidence was taken from Crackin Sort’s trainer Toby Weekes, as well as trainer Andrew Jones, veterinary surgeon Dr Claire Harrison, representatives of Quakers Hill Veterinary Surgery and Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley. Written evidence was tendered from the ARFL, the Chem Centre WA, Mr Weekes and GRNSW.
Mr Weekes was unable to provide definitive evidence of dates and times of administration but stated that he had regularly used testoprop to control oestrus in his bitches.
Mr Weekes subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Crackin Sort for the race in question other than free of any prohibited substance.
Mr Weekes was subsequently suspended for a period of three months and in addition fined $2,500. Under the provisions of GAR 95 (3) the suspension was stayed in full for a period of 12 months, conditional upon Mr Weekes not incurring any offence under the prohibited substance rules in that time.
In considering penalty, stewards took into account Mr Weekes’ presentation at the inquiry, together with his extreme contrition shown during the inquiry, notwithstanding a failure to be able to provide definitive records of administration. Consideration was given to Mr Weekes’ record of having not breached the prohibited substance rules in more than six years of registration, his personal circumstances which include a significant industry investment and sponsorship of race meetings at several clubs, the nature of the substance involved and other penalties in relation to such reports following the expiration of the extension of leniency following the introduction of the threshold for this substance.
Also considered were the records of Mr Weekes having a significant number of previously cleared samples taken from his greyhounds over a relatively short registration history and no indication of kennel support for the greyhound.
Acting under the provisions of GAR 83 (5) Crackin Sort was disqualified from the race in question and from the final of the event run at the Richmond meeting on 7 August 2013, where it placed second, with the placings amended accordingly.