On 23 January 2014 HRSA Stewards conducted an inquiry into the results of a urine sample provided by driver Dean Girardi, that upon analysis, it contained the banned substance d-amphetamine and d-methamphetamine. Mr. Girardi was found guilty of a charge under Rule 252(1) and disqualified for 2 years.
Mr. Girardi lodged an appeal against both conviction and penalty and was granted a stay of proceedings. The appeal was set down for 13 March however following an application by Mr. Girardi’s legal counsel, the Racing Appeals Tribunal granted an adjournment until June to allow Mr. Girardi to obtain expert opinion from Professor Jason White.
In June 2014, stewards requested further testing of the urine sample and sought and obtained further reports from Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) as to the results of that testing. This second round of testing confirmed the presence of hydroxyl-methamphetamine and hydroxyl-amphetamine, the metabolite representing the after product of ingestion. Further RASL indicated the level was consistent with normal usage and unlikely to arise from absorption through the skin.
The appeal resumed on 7 August 2014 with Mr. Girardi, through his Counsel, advising that he accepted the reading provided by RASL was accurate, did not assert the urine sample was contaminated, stated he had not knowingly taken amphetamine or methamphetamine but acknowledged this did not constitute a defence and therefore abandoned his appeal against conviction.
Mr. Girardi pressed his appeal against penalty however conceded this was his fourth breach of the banned substance rule.
On 21 August 2014, The Racing Appeals Tribunal handed down their decision stating “the Tribunal is not persuaded by the evidence and submission of the Appellant that he unknowingly ingested or otherwise absorbed the illegal substance. The “normality” of the quantities detected add weight to the inherent unlikeliness of the “unknowing ingestion” explanation. In addition, it is the Appellants fourth detected breach of this rule and the penalty must reflect that”. The Racing Appeals Tribunal dismissed the appeal and confirmed the penalty of a disqualification of licence for 2 years.
Chair of Stewards