Non Raceday Inquiry – Written Decision dated 15 November 2022 – Jordan Crawford

ID: RIB12842

Jordan Crawford - Junior Driver

Ms C Fox - Investigator - RIB

Hon J W Gendall KC

Persons Present:
Mr R Carr for Applicant, Mr J Crawford, Mr M Berger assisting Mr Crawford

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Non-race Related Charge

Prohibited Substance - Cannabis

512(1) - Prohibited substance



Race Date:

Race Club:
Auckland Trotting Club

Race Location:
Alexandra Park - Cnr Greenlane West & Manukau Road Greenlane, Auckland, 1051

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Cambridge Raceway

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Junior Driver Jordan Crawford is suspended for 6 weeks

1. Mr J Crawford is a Licensed Junior Driver who is charged with a breach of Rule 512(1) of the NZ Rules of Harness Racing in that:

“On 20 October 2022 at the Auckland Trotting Club, having been required by a Racing Investigator to supply a sample of [his] urine in accordance with Rule 512(1) of the NZ Rules of Harness Racing, [he] provided urine which upon analysis was found to contain the controlled drug Cannabis (THC) a Class C Controlled Drug as defined in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.”

2. Rule 512(1) provides:

“Every Driver commits a breach of these Rules who, having been required under the Rules by a Stipendiary Steward or Racing Investigator or Adjudicative Committee to supply a sample which is found upon analysis to contain any controlled drug as defined in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 or other illicit substance or diuretic and/or its metabolites, artefacts or isomers.”

3.  Mr Crawford admitted the charge.

Factual Background

4.  Mr Crawford has been a Licensed Junior Driver since 2017 working with a Licensed Harness Trainer in Cambridge.

5.  On 20 October 2022 he was scheduled to drive in Race 5 at the Auckland Trotting Club meeting at Alexandra Park and was in the stables area.  As a person performing a “Safety Sensitive Activity” he was one of 16 persons selected for alcohol and drug testing.  He provided a urine sample at 8.28pm which, on later analysis by the ESR was positive to Cannabis at a THC level of 55ng/mL.  Cannabis is a Class C Controlled Drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.

6.  As a result Mr Crawford was stood down from driving on 28 October 2022.

7.  When spoken to, Mr Crawford said he had consumed “several hash cookies” containing Cannabis at a party 2 days prior.  Whilst he claimed that he was “not aware” they contained Cannabis until the next day, the Adjudicative Committee considers that to be dubious.  Cannabis edibles are an increasing method of taking that drug and have a more intense “high” than through smoking – as must be absorbed through the digestive system, and the effects last longer than through smoking ingestion.  The eating of “several” such cookies within a short period runs the risk of overdose, and it is not accepted that Mr Crawford was unaware of what he was taking.  Nevertheless the breach of the Rule is established.


8.  The general penalty provisions contained in Rule 1003(1) apply.  That provides for:

(a)  a fine not exceeding $10,000.00; and/or

(b)  suspension from holding or obtaining a licence for a period not exceeding 12 months; and/or

(c) disqualification for a period not exceeding 12 months.

9.  Previous decisions for similar Cannabis related offences have generally related to Thoroughbred Jockeys and Trackwork Riders.  Periods of suspension of Licence of between 5 and 9 weeks (depending on aggravating features and past history) have been imposed; (RIB v C Jones 28.8.22; RIB v T Thornton 22.8.22; RIB v R Aukett 14.6.22; RIB v B Herd 6.5.22; RIB v A Scott 4.3.22).  The decision in RIU v Z Meredith (10.5.21) involved a Harness Racing Junior Driver resulting in a 4 weeks suspension plus costs of $150.

10.  From a starting point of 7 weeks suspension a discount of 1 week is afforded because of Mr Crawford’s good record, and cooperative compliant attitude to the inspection.

11.  Accordingly Mr Crawford’s Junior Driver’s Licence is suspended for 6 weeks, to be backdated to be deemed to have commenced on 28 October 2022, when he was stood down.

12.  He is ordered to pay to the RIB $187.50 being expenses incurred for the sample analysis.

Decision Date: 11/11/2022

Publish Date: 15/11/2022