Racing Tribunal Green Light Bell's Stay Application

ANDREW Bell has been granted a stay as he digs in to fight the 16-month DQ handed down by the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission.

Adam Dobbin

5 June 2022

TRAINER Andrew Bell has been granted a stay of proceedings as he digs in to fight the recent 16-month disqualification handed down by the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission (GWIC).

At a hearing on Friday, the NSW Racing Appeals Tribunal headed up by Judge David Armati supported Bell’s stay application, declaring Bell’s legal team had established an arguable case “on the possibility of contamination”.

The decision added that “as important as integrity of the decision and presentation matters are, the factors outlined are accepted. Detailed analysis is not required.”

The ruling allows Bell, the 2020 NSW Trainer of the Year, to return to the training ranks immediately while he awaits an appeal date on the matter to be set.

Bell is rigorously fighting the penalty he received by GWIC officials as a result of the positive swab returned by winning greyhound King Reed at Dapto on December 16, 2021.

A post race urine sample revealed levels of amphetamine, 4-hydroxyamphetamine and methamphetamine, all category 1 banned substances under national greyhound racing rules.

GWIC stewards charged Bell with a breach of rule 83(2)(a) for failing to produce King Reed free of any prohibited substance.

Bell pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Included in Bell’s successful stay submission was a report tendered at the initial inquiry by Dr. Derek Major which stated that it was “highly unlikely there was performance enhancement, the drugs entered the dog by mouth or injection within 1 hour of sampling and there was a contamination of the collection vessel.”

Other factors considered were Bell’s training history and premises, financial commitments to 147 greyhounds, concern of bankruptcy and the mental impact.

GWIC’s opposition to the stay was based largely on the seriousness of the allegation and history of the matter.