Greyhound trainer disqualified after his dog tested positive for methamphetamine
Foxton greyhound trainer Maree Gowan has been disqualified for 18 months after her dog Big Time Cardy tested positive for methamphetamine. (file photo)
A greyhound trainer who actively tried to prevent race stewards from testing one of his dogs, who later came back positive for methamphetamine, will be out of the industry for 18 months.
Foxton trainer Maree Jeanette Gowan spent more than two hours trying to stop the stewards’ testing, at one point saying the tests couldn’t take place because she had fed her dog half a pie .
She was disqualified for 18 months by the Racing Integrity Board in October after it previously found her guilty of introducing a dog that had methamphetamine in its system.
The dog, named Big Time Cardy, tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine – methamphetamine breaks down in the body into amphetamines – after running a trial run at Manawatū Raceway in June.
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But Gowan wasn’t keen on Big Time Cardy being tested, stalling for around two hours and 15 minutes.
She said the test was ‘out of competition’ so shouldn’t happen, wanted written instruction to track her dog – which isn’t necessary – said a steward hadn’t met her, the dog had been given half a pie and an extra drink and a kennel mat was wet.
A urine sample came back positive for the substances.
Gowan also gave a urine sample, which was positive for cannabis but negative for methamphetamine, although methamphetamine residue was found in or near the driver’s side of his vehicle.
She told the council she had no idea how Big Time Cardy tested positive, suggesting she may have touched meth-contaminated clothing while working in a laundry, transferring the drugs into his car by contact.
She had used the drug about 25 years ago, but denied recent use.
The council said the presence of methamphetamine in the front of Gowan’s vehicle reinforced the idea that someone associated with his training operation was involved in methamphetamine.
Race investigator Georgina Murrow wanted Gowan banned for three years due to his refusal to take personal responsibility and his obstructive attitude.
Gowan said she should only be fined, noting that another of her dogs at Manawatū Raceway in June tested negative.
Greyhounds were her main source of income, and she still didn’t know how Big Time Cardy came into contact with meth.
The council said the other dog that tested negative was irrelevant, given that Big Time Cardy tested positive.
Additionally, the dogs had to test negative at all times, not just during competitive runs.
A disqualification had to be imposed to deter other coaches, the board said.
“It is vital for the protection of greyhounds, as well as promoting the integrity and community perception of [greyhound racing]that high standards of care are upheld, whether in or out of scheduled competitions.
The board agreed that Gowan was stonewalling, saying she had no remorse, contrition or regret.