Non Raceday Request for a Ruling – Written Decision dated 26 January 2023 – TEEING OFF

ID: RIB14835

Chloe Watson - Trainer

Ms Courtney Fox - RIB Investigator

Mr G R Jones

Persons Present:
N/A - on the papers.

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Request for Ruling

61.4 - Prohibited substance - Prohibited substance

Request for Ruling:
For the disqualification of TEEING OFF from Race 7

Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Auckland Greyhound Racing Club

Race Location:
Cambridge Raceway - 1 Taylor Street, Cambridge, 3434

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
On the papers

Outcome: Determination

Penalty: TEEING OFF disqualified from third place, Race 7 at Auckland GRC Meeting at Cambridge on 28 November 2022


[1] The Respondent Chloe Watson is the Licensed Greyhound Trainer of TEEING OFF who finished third in Race 7 at the Auckland Greyhound Meeting, held at Cambridge, on 28 November 2022.  This Request for a Ruling was filed by the Racing Integrity Board (RIB) seeking the disqualification of TEEING OFF from third place in the said race.

[2] Full particulars of the request (as per Information Number A18508) are:

THAT on 28 November 2022, at the Auckland Greyhound Meeting conducted at the Cambridge GR Track, TEEING OFF competed in Race 7, the Garrards Horse and Hound Sprint and finished in third place. Prior to Race 7 a pre-race sample was obtained from the greyhound which, upon analysis, returned test results for the Prohibited Drug, Arsenic, at a level of 1158ng/mL, being over the threshold of 800ng/mL.

The Rule

Rule 61.4 provides that:

Any Greyhound which competes in a Race and is found to be the recipient of a Prohibited Substance shall be Disqualified from that race.

Ruling Sought

[3] A Ruling is sought pursuant to Rule 61.4 for the disqualification of TEEING OFF from the said race. For this to occur, the Adjudicative Committee must be satisfied that TEEING OFF competed in the race and that it was found to be the recipient of a prohibited substance.

Out of Scope

[4] This Adjudicative Committee is not required to determine how or by what means the prohibited substance was taken or ingested by TEEING OFF.  Nor is it a requirement of this Adjudicative Committee to determine culpability. These are matters to be determined following the ongoing investigation being carried out by RIB Investigators.

The hearing – ‘On the Papers’

[5] The Respondent, Trainer Ms Watson, is aware of the relevant Rule(s) and consents to the disqualification of TEEING OFF from the race concerned.

[6] The Respondent has consented to this Ruling being dealt with ‘on the papers’ pursuant to paragraph 21.1 of the Common Rules of Practice and Procedure contained in the Seventh Schedule of Rules of Racing of the New Zealand Greyhound Racing Association Inc (GRNZ).

Background Information

The key salient facts are summarised are as follows:

[7] The Respondent, is the holder of a Trainer’s License issued by GRNZ. She currently owns / trains four greyhounds, including TEEING OFF, which are kennelled at a training facility situated in Clevedon.

[8] On Monday 28 November 2022, TEEING OFF was entered to run in Race 7 at the Auckland Greyhound Racing Club Meeting held at the Cambridge GR Track. ​ Prior to the running of the race, Stewards advised the Respondent via phone that TEEING OFF had returned a high Arsenic reading of 303ng/mL from a swab obtained on 6 November 2023. She was further advised that the Arsenic threshold was 800ng/mL.

[9] A pre-race swab was obtained from TEEING OFF, by an RIB Swabbing Official.

[10] Following the swab, TEEING OFF competed in Race 7, finishing in third place, and earning gross stake money of $290.

Analysis Result

[11] On Monday 9 January 2023, the Official Racing Analyst of the New Zealand Racing Laboratory Services (NZRLS) advised the RIB of the analysis result; namely the detection of the Prohibited Drug, arsenic, at a level of 1158ng/mL, being over the threshold of 800ng/mL.

[12] Arsenic is a naturally occurring trace element that is normally present in greyhounds at very low levels as a result of a normal dietary intake.

[13] An excessive amount of Arsenic has been shown to have an effect on the cardiovascular system (GAR 1) and therefore is a prohibited substance when present in a sample at concentrations above that which would naturally occur through routine nutritional sources. Arsenic at a level over 800ng/mL is a Prohibited Substance within the meaning of the Rules and its presence in a race day sample at levels exceeding the threshold is, prima facie, a breach of the Rules.

Investigative follow-up

[14] On Wednesday 11 January 2023, RIB Investigators visited the Respondent’s training facility and commenced an investigation into the high Arsenic reading. ​Upon being spoken to, the Respondent was shocked to hear of the positive result.  In response, she advised that the only thing she could contribute to the high readings was the recent staining of the wooden floor in her dog kennels following an RIB Kennel Audit. She further advised that this was completed in late September 2022 to ensure that the kennels complied with current GRNZ Standards.

[15] The kennels were purchased in early 2022 and are constructed from treated timber and corrugated iron material.

[16] In 2022, The Australian Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission published an article linking Copper Chrome Arsenate (CCA) treated timber to Arsenic threshold breeches.

This article states …. “CCA is a wood preservative used to treat timber against rot and pests.  Licking or chewing of kennels or yards with treated timber has been implicated in threshold breaches. CCA is dangerous because it contains arsenic, a known human carcinogen. Over time, the arsenic can leak out from inside the wood into the surrounding soil and onto the surface of the wood. From the surface, the arsenic can be picked up on the paws of passing pets, who later ingest it”.

[17] The RIB Official Racing Analyst, from the NZRLS has advised that the CCA used to treat the wood can leach from the wood and can be ingested by the dogs orally, leading to high Arsenic readings.  In addition, advice was given suggesting that previous threshold breaches have been caused by kelp and shellfish ingredients present in the dog’s food source.  Further, the effects of Arsenic in a greyhound, would largely act as a stopper as opposed to being performance enhancing.

[18] With this information in mind, RIB Investigators have arranged for further exhibit analysis to determine the source of the Arsenic. A final disposition on the investigation will be determined upon the conclusion of the exhibit examination.

Decision and Reasons

Ruling (decision)

[19] The Adjudicative Committee rules that TEEING OFF shall be disqualified from its third placing in Race 7 at the Auckland Greyhound Meeting conducted at the Cambridge GR Track, on 28 November 2022.

[20] In addition, the $290 stakes earned for finishing in third place is to be forfeited and the official race results / placing are to be amended in accordance with this decision.


[21] TEEING OFF was found to have competed in Race 7 having in its system, as established by scientific analysis, the Prohibited Substance Arsenic.

[22] Neither the presence of the Arsenic, nor the disqualification, is contested by the Respondent.

[23] Rule 61.4 provides that any Greyhound which competes in a Race and is found to be the recipient of a Prohibited Substance shall be Disqualified from that race. Therefore, in accordance with this Rule, TEEING OFF shall be disqualified, and the amended placings are as follows:

1st   No 3   CLAWS IN ROCKY

2nd  No 1   DARK HAZARD

3rd   No 2   BIG TIME ANDY


[24] Due to this matter having been uncontested and dealt with ‘on the papers’, there is no order for costs.

Decision Date: 26/01/2023

Publish Date: 27/01/2023