(right) 1- Watch the Wasp jumps out to a good start and streets the field in the final of the Westlawn Finance Stayers Cup.
(right) 1- Watch the Wasp jumps out to a good start and streets the field in the final of the Westlawn Finance Stayers Cup. Adam Hourigan

Dean Swain disqualified after runner tests positive

GREYHOUNDS: Greyhound trainer Dean Swain has been rubbed out of the sport for 18 months following a breach of racing integrity.

The former Sydney trainer was handed an 18-month disqualification by the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission after 2018 Westlawn Stayers Cup winner Watch The Wasp tested positive for several illicit substances.

Watch The Wasp, who beat the field in by more than 12 lengths during the annual July Carnival, was taken for post-race testing including a urine sample.

The post-race swab revealed the presence of amphetamine, 4-hydroxyamphetamine and methamphetamine.

The GWIC charged Swain under greyhound racing rule GAR 83(2)(a) which states the owner, trainer or person in charge of a greyhound nominated to compete in an event shall present the greyhound free of any prohibited substance.

During the hearing into Swain's charge, the commission heard evidence from commission inspector Steph Paprzycki-Baker and the scientific manager of Racing Analytical Services Limited, Paul Zahra.

Swain, who represented himself at the hearing, pleaded not guilty to the Charge and made submissions, including raising the possibility that the greyhound was contaminated after it had raced by another participant or person present at the race track.

The commission could not find any evidence to support Swain's claim, and instead found the charge proven.

After hearing further evidence from Swain in relation to the penalty, the commission determined that the appropriate penalty was a disqualification for a period of 18 months.

The commission also took into account the 24 weeks that Swain had already served in suspension awaiting his trial, with the remaining period of disqualification to end on March 16, 2020.

A spokesperson for the commission said the inquiry was carried out in a fair and just manner.

"The penalty imposed took into account all relevant matters including the nature of the prohibited substance, Mr. Swain's history and penalty precedents," he said.

"Each disciplinary matter dealt with by the commission is dealt with having regard to the individual facts of each matter.

"As the independent regulator of the greyhound racing industry in NSW, the Commission applies the Rules of Racing consistently and fairly to all participants. The commission will continue to work with all participants and other stakeholders to ensure that greyhound welfare and integrity are the commission's top priority.

"Any proven cases of serious wrongdoing, including prohibited substance matters, are and will continue to be, dealt with proportionately by the commission."

The incident has cast a long shadow over the Grafton Greyhound Racing Club's annual July spectacular with Swain stripped of his win in the time-honoured Westlawn Stayers Cup.

GGRC secretary/manager Wayne Turner said it was a shame to understand the involvement of illicit substances in the July Carnival, but admitted it was out of the club's control.

"It is not part and parcel of racing but we can't control that sort of thing," he said. "There is processes in place to try and prevent that sort of thing happening.

"We are obviously disappointed but again it is not something we can control.

"We are trying to clean the game up and are trying to keep the integrity of the sport. That is the ultimate, to make sure the animals are free of banned substances.

"We want to see a clean racing industry."