INDEPENDENT NEWS

Drug Test Positive, Tip Of The Wrong Iceberg

Published: Mon 26 Nov 2012 02:44 PM
Greyhound Protection League |
"Drug Test Positive, Tip Of The Wrong Iceberg"
A recent prohibited substance conviction in the greyhound racing industry may have set off alarm bells, but greyhound racing industry watchdogs are concerned there is a bigger problem going unaddressed. A recent Australian ABC news investigation into the dog racing industry in New South Wales, revealed shocking euthanasia numbers and allegations of widespread undetectable illicit drug use. The drug Erythropoietin, more commonly known as EPO is alleged by renowned industry vet Ted Humphries to be in widespread use in the horse and dog racing codes, because it is not easily detected. The drug increases the number of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the muscles, but is not detectable in urine tests. Cyclist Lance Armstrong was recently stripped of medals due to being caught using this drug.
Aaron Cross of the Greyhound Protection League of New Zealand says that New Zealand's testing regimes may not be robust enough to protect Kiwi greyhounds, nor gambling patrons, from this kind of drug abuse.
"New Zealand is always going to be behind Australia in terms of efficient drug detection simply because our industry is smaller. There's always going to be cheats, and there is no reason why EPO wouldn't be in use here. In fact its likely they will try it on here because we're a softer target"
He says that rather than telling the public how great their testing regime is when catching trainers feeding their dogs the wrong bread, the Racing Integrity Unit should be doing serious drug testing and be conducting pathology tests to check for EPO in greyhound blood, not their urine, and question why the RIU wouldn't be doing that anyway.
"Unfortunately we cannot really trust the Racing Integrity Unit. They were recently caught doctoring injury counts, listing greyhounds that had been euthanized due to the seriousness of their racing-related injuries, as "retired"." This mysterious behaviour on their part brings the entire racing industry into further disrepute, as this body is charged with, well, integrity. There needs to be an explanation from the RIU as to why their officials were writing dishonest reports, and to date there's been no explanation forthcoming from the racing industry as to why they were actively misleading the public."
The Greyhound Protection League has launched an online petition, requesting an independent inquiry into the alleged deaths and disappearances of thousands of greyhounds bred and imported for the racing industry. It has reached half its target number in the first tens days of being posted online. Mr Cross says he has no doubt it will reach its goal and is calling upon the public to add their weight to the request, while labeling the industries desire to keep any investigation out of the public eye as "suspicious and shameful, but not surprising".
"They have a lot to hide, if the public saw what was happening to greyhounds in the gambling industry, there would be widespread condemnation, and a real problem on the governments hands. Animal based gambling benefits a niche audience, whereas wider public sentiment is now going against the use of animals for entertainment purposes, especially when the animals are being hurt and killed on a regular basis. Members of Parliament will soon have to choose sides over greyhound racing, and they would do well to check in with public sentiment on the matter."
"Greyhounds are lovely animals and the racing industries intent is to simply profit from them. Its costing them their lives. Its time the public had a say, its time politicians listened, and its time the brutality was brought to an end."
ENDS

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