Following advice from the Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of a post-race blood sample taken from the greyhound Fyna Bale at the Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association (The Meadows) meeting on 28th July 2012.
During the investigation, Stewards heard evidence from registered Trainer Mrs. Andrea Dailly and received written statements from Dr. David Batty (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Alastair Smith (Sandown Veterinary Clinic).
After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mrs. Dailly with breach of GAR83 (2) and (3) in that she did fail to present the greyhound Fyna Bale free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association (The Meadows) meeting on 28th July 2012, given the post-race blood sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Carprofen.
Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules this constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on the 23rd October 2012, this matter was heard by 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.
Mrs. Andrea Dailly represented herself at the RADB hearing. Mr. T Dailly was also in attendance.
Mr. Glen Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.
Mrs. Dailly initially pleaded not guilty to the charge but after completion of the stewards’ evidence changed her plea to guilty as she had been under the misapprehension that the charge was one of deliberate administration of a prohibited substance rather than one of presentation of the greyhound not free of a prohibited substance.
After hearing all the evidence tendered, the RADB found Mrs. Dailly guilty as charged and fined her the sum of $1000.
Acting under GAR 83(4), the RADB also disqualified Fyna Bale from Race 6 at the Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association (The Meadows) meeting held on Wednesday 28th July 2012 and amended the placings accordingly.
Andrea Dailly should consider herself extremely fortunate with the "fine only" outcome. In July this year a New South Wales greyhound trainer received a four month suspension for the same offence.
Under the new NSW drug penalty system, Carprofen would be classified as a category 5 drug positive swab offence and as such would carry a 12 week base suspension/disqualification penalty. Given Andrea Dailly has already been before Stewards this year, then that base 12 week penalty may actually have been higher.
The disparity between the two offences, and what a similar offence would now receive in NSW again highlights the desperate need for a national approach to positive swab drug penalties, and the fact Victorian greyhound racing is running the risk of being seen as extremely lenient given the long list of "fine only" penalties they have handed down.
After the horror year Victorian greyhound racing has had with integrity issues and the stewards betting scandal, it would seem prudent for the Victorian Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) to do everything in its power to dispel any assumption of a "go soft" approach to Victorian greyhound racing integrity, but cases like this only serve to reinforce that opinion.