11-year ban for greyhound doping bid

6:19 pm on 18 April 2016

A Greyhound New Zealand racing board member who pleaded guilty to two charges relating to dog doping has been banned from the sport for 11 years.

Greyhounds round the bend

A pack of greyhounds at the racing track (file) Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The board member, David Scott, was also fined $10,000 and ordered to repay costs of $13,000.

Mr Scott appeared before a judiciary committee in Wellington today on charges of corruption and supplying a prohibited substance. He pleaded guilty to two charges but a third, accusing him of threatening the trainer who informed on him, was withdrawn.

Mr Scott had provided the prohibited drug Fertagyl to the trainer, Nathan Udy, and asked that it be used.

The drug raises the testosterone of the animals and enhances their performance.

However, the trainer never administered it - though he acted as if he had.

The drug is not available in New Zealand, and Mr Scott brought it back from Australia.

Mr Scott also had Mr Udy obtain a similar drug, Gonasyn, from a veterinarian.

Later, in November 2015, after being elected to the board, Mr Scott sent a text to Mr Udy from a meeting he was attending.

"Pretty sure they aren't testing for that stuff buddy so we may have a crack with one of the boy pups in the next few weeks."

Mr Udy responded "yeah, he will be sweet, that's gd to no".

Mr Scott: "Yeah here with RIU [Racing Integrity Unit] and they are saying they can't test for testosterone at the moment, that's what it is isn't it? Delete these messages as well :)"

Mr Udy provided the text exchange to investigators.

But Mr Scott's lawyer, Paul Paino, told the hearing his client's behaviour was improper, but not corrupt.

"There is no attempt to downplay the seriousness of the charges and the type of behaviour that Mr Scott entered into."

However, Mr Paino said the reality was no dog was given the drug - and so there was no cheating on the track, and the betting public was not affected.

David Scott, far left, has resigned from the board of Greyhound Racing.

David Scott, far left, has resigned from the board of Greyhound Racing. Photo: RNZ / Kate Pereyra Garcia

Judiciary committee chair Murray McKechnie said Mr Scott's behaviour was totally unacceptable and could be seen as corrupt.

"He was a board member and thus at the highest level of governance within that code. Persons who are elected to that board can rightly be expected to uphold the rules and indeed promote them, rather than deviously setting about undermining and breaching those rules."

The Racing Integrity Unit had sought the maximum penalty of a lifetime ban from the industry and fine of $20,000. Its manager of integrity assurance, Neil Grimstone, said he was happy with the outcome.

"No matter what position you have in the industry, you'll be held to account," he said.

"I think if there's anyone that comes out of this as a hero, it's Mr Udy for putting his hand up and not going through with this type of dishonest and corrupt practice."

Mr Scott declined to comment, but his lawyer said he did not think there would be an appeal.

Mr Scott has resigned from the board of Greyhound Racing and has until 1 May to give up ownership of his dogs.

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