Non Raceday Inquiry – Written Decision dated 26 August 2022 – Jazmin Smith
Alexandra Park, Auckland
Penalty: Stablehand, Jazmin Smith disqualified for 12 months
1. The Racing Integrity Board charged Ms Jazmin Smith with a breach of Rule 656(3) of the NZTR Rules of Racing in that, on 24 May 2022 at Ruakaka Racecourse she provided a sample of urine which on analysis was found to contain the controlled drugs Methamphetamine and Amphetamine.
2. Ms Smith admitted the charge. She is liable to any penalty that may be imposed under Rule 803(3).
3. Ms Smith has been a Licensed Stablehand employed by a Class B Licensed Trainer at Ruakaka.
4. Rule 656(3) provides, where relevant, that any
“… Licenceholder who … is carrying out, or is likely to carry out, a Safety Sensitive Activity at a Racecourse Training Facility or Trainer’s Premises who, having been required … to supply a Sample … must not have 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 …”
5. Methamphetamine is a Class A prohibited drug, and Amphetamine is a Class B prohibited drug.
6. The penalty provisions for a breach of Rule 656(3) are disqualification or suspension for up to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $50,000.
Summary of Facts
7. The extensive background facts, and submissions of Ms Smith and her employer, are recorded in the Adjudicative Committee’s reasoning decision dated today under Information A16414 and A16415.
8. As a result of the horse TAZIMOTO, part owned by Ms Smith, returning a positive swab to Methamphetamine after winning a race at Ruakaka on 4 May 2022, Ms Smith was requested by an Investigator to provide urine (and hair samples) on 24 May 2022. Analysis of the urine sample disclosed that it contained the drugs Methamphetamine and Amphetamine. Although not included in the charge, nevertheless the hair sample also tested positive to those drugs, indicating long term use or ingestion of Methamphetamine.
9. Ms Smith advised the Adjudicative Committee that she was only an “occasional” user of Methamphetamine through smoking it with friends. However it is well known positive Methamphetamine analysis from hair samples can be evidence of long term use. To her credit Ms Smith has sought treatment from Counsellors from the Salvation Army and the Senior Counsellor and AOD Clinician to the Racing Industry has reported on 9 August 2022, that:
“Ms Smith has been attending individual counselling as a reaction to receiving these charges. She sought out the counselling herself and allowed me to speak with her Counsellor. Her Counsellor reports the following information.
They began on the 22nd of June and initially met weekly. This moved out to fortnightly. She states Ms Smith appears genuinely engaged in sessions and is motivated to do the work required.
I have suggested to the Counsellor that following their treatment, it may be highly beneficial for Ms Smith to consider an in-patient rehabilitation programme. This is due to her proclivity of her use.
I will remain in contact with Ms Smith’s Counsellor and monitor Ms Smith’s progress.”
10. In her submissions to the Adjudicative Committee Ms Smith expressed remorse and expressed the opinion that she alone was to blame for the positive swab returned by TAZIMOTO. We are not at all sure of the accuracy of that claim or her opinion. But it is not necessary for the Adjudicative Committee to discuss that issue further as the only issue is the extent and nature of any penalty for her positive test on 24 May 2022 to be fixed.
11. Ms Smith has no previous breaches of the Rules, resides with her husband and teenage children in Ruakaka, she has sought help for her involvement in taking this highly addictive toxic drug. Any personal issue of hers need not be recorded. They are all mitigating factors we take into account.
12. Serious drug use by Stablehands, Riders and others who participate in the Racing Industry, put at risk themselves and all others, as well as the reputation and integrity of the Industry. It has repeatedly been said by the RIB that it cannot be tolerated and significant penalties, to deter others and denounce the behaviour of Licensees, are required. Ms Smith has, for the moment, forfeited the privilege of being Licensed and participating in the sport. But there is reason to hope that her rehabilitation treatment may be successful.
13. Accordingly the penalty we fix is that she is disqualified for a period of 12 months, but if she successfully completes her rehabilitation treatment with the Salvation Army, for a period of nine months, and thereafter to the satisfaction of the NZTR and RIB she provides negative urine and hair samples to any prohibited drug, the remaining three months of the disqualification will be suspended.
14. The disqualification commences today, 23 August 2022.
15. There is no order as to cost but Ms Smith is required to pay to the RIB $187.50 being the cost of the analysis of the urine sample.
Decision Date: 23/08/2022
Publish Date: 30/08/2022