The Board of Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) has accepted all six recommendations made by the Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner (ORIC) following a report into the scratching of Banjo Boy from a Melbourne Cup heat on Thursday 14 November 2013.
On 2 May 2014, GRV wrote to the ORIC Commissioner, Sal Perna, formally requesting that the Racing Integrity Commissioner conduct an investigation into integrity related allegations made by Mr Andrew Varasdi, owner of the greyhound ‘Banjo Boy’.
The ORIC concluded the investigation on 10 September 2014 and the Board of GRV considered same at its meeting held on 30 September 2014.
The GRV Board noted the outcomes the ORIC Report investigation, which concluded that:
“The review of this matter by the ORIC has not identified any evidence that would support an allegation of corrupt or deceptive behaviour on behalf of the GRV Stewards and Integrity Officials involved.
“There have been a number of matters of an operational nature that have been identified as errors of judgement, deficiencies in training and operation practices. Specific recommendations have been made with a view to addressing and rectifying those matters. It cannot be said however that any such errors of judgement were deliberately deceptive or corrupt in their execution.”
The recommendations detailed within the report include improved processes and procedures for the conduct and notification of swab results, and provision of guidance to participants regarding the definition of “presenting a greyhound”.
GRV will also provide further training and education to Stewards including consulting with other racing bodies on developing the best processes to deal with such matters.
Adam Wallish, GRV Chief Executive said the ORIC report has been accepted by the organisation and plans have already been made to implement the recommendations.
“In addition to implementing the recommendations the GRV Board considered other operational improvements that could be made including education and external mentoring of key staff which is an important outcome that will strengthen the capacity of the Integrity Department,” Mr Wallish said.
“We are also looking at enhancing our educational materials to provide greater clarity to participants regarding the appropriate treatment for common greyhound related afflictions.
“GRV will continue to balance the need to engage with participants and manage complaints while not interfering with ongoing investigations.”