Greyhound Racing NZ board member David Scott banned for 11 years

By Nikki Preston, Michael Guerin

David Scott, a board member of Greyhound Racing New Zealand who oversee the sport, has been banned from the sport for 11 years. Photo / Getty Images.
David Scott, a board member of Greyhound Racing New Zealand who oversee the sport, has been banned from the sport for 11 years. Photo / Getty Images.

Greyhound racing's governing body which appointed a prominent administrator caught trying to cheat says the hefty fine and ban is proof the procedures aimed at keeping the industry honest are working.

The New Zealand Greyhound Racing Board has welcomed the outcome from today's hearing at Wellington Airport which saw prominent greyhound owner David Scott receive what is believed to be the longest ever racing ban handed down in New Zealand - 11-years - after pleading guilty to corruption and drug charges.

He was also fined $5000 for each of the two charges and ordered to pay $13,000 in costs.

Scott is not only a prominent owner of greyhounds but was the central region representative on the New Zealand Greyhound Racing Board, a position he resigned before the hearing.

He pleaded guilty to corruption and supplying a permanently prohibited substance to one of his trainers, but that trainer, Nathan Udy, failed to use the substance and eventually reported the incident to the Racing Integrity Unit (RIU).

Mr Udy supplied the RIU with text messages from Scott, including threatening ones after the relationship between the two men had gone sour.

A charge relating to those threatening texts was eventually dropped.

But Scott will not be able to attend any horse or dog race meeting or be on the property of a racing licence holder for 11 years after his guilty plea.

The hearing heard the 45-year-old company director has sourced the drug Fertagyl from Australia and asked Mr Udy to administer it to one of his dogs before a major race at Whanganui.

Mr Udy told Scott he had administered the drug to the dog, Fabio, but in fact did not. Fabio finished second in the race.

No dogs were found to have actually raced with an illegal substance in their system because of Scott.

But as a member of the Greyhound Racing Board, Scott was privy to RIU information about drug detection and attempted to use information gained during an RIU briefing to his advantage, again with no success.

As part of their investigation, the RIU also looked into Scott's TAB account records.

Greyhound Racing Board chairman Craig Rendle said it was disappointed any member of the industry, let alone a board member, had been involved in serious misconduct.

"The Board has always taken all allegations of misconduct extremely seriously and is unequivocal about upholding the integrity of our industry at all levels. We are pleased the processes in place to flush out this kind of behaviour have done their job."

Scott was only appointed as an area board member in October last year and attended one meeting before standing down while the investigation was carried out.

RIU general manager Mike Godber said given Scott was only on the board just over a month before the investigation was launched it showed any signs of corruption were being jumped on quickly.

The RIU carried out 3300 tests on dogs a year - about 7.5 per cent of all dogs and above the Australian average of about 5 per cent.

Drug testing was carried out on dogs if there was any cause for concern, with emphasis on dogs which won along with some random testing.

"Over 3000 is a very good number, that would ensure you were going to catch someone who is trying to drug dogs."

Mr Godber said yesterday's sentence was a good outcome despite the industry pushing for a life ban. He thanked Mr Udy for his help in bringing the matter to the unit's attention.

However, Greyhound Protection League founder Aaron Cross said the industry was toothless There was no incentive for Scott to pay his $23,000 fine because he had already been thrown out of the industry.

"It's a bit of a joke really. He's kicked out of the industry anyway by making this big song they are just trying to sell the idea they are taking hard action. Until the industry has proper oversight - I mean from welfare through to integrity - then its just going to be the same old boys' network."

- NZ Herald

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