Racehorse trainer charged horse/cocaine +

By BlueMystic · Jul 30, 2005 ·
  1. BlueMystic
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/horseracing/the-buck-stops-here-g ai-cops-cocaine-fine/2005/07/29/1122144022085.html?oneclick= true

    The buck stops here: Gai cops cocaine fine
    By Kate McClymont
    July 30, 2005

    Despite arguing that it was "cruel and unfair" to be punished for the "folly of others," Sydney's leading racehorse trainer, Gai Waterhouse, has been fined $15,000 after having a horse test positive to cocaine.

    Waterhouse had no option but to plead guilty to the charges after the Chief Steward, Ray Murrihy, told her that under racing's rules, she had to bear absolute liability for a horse she trained testing positive to cocaine.

    Love You Honey returned a positive test after finishing unplaced at a race on Anzac Day.

    While the starting point for such cases usually resulted in disqualification or suspension, the investigators accepted that the cocaine found in Love You Honey's system was a result of accidental contamination.

    Mr Murrihy accepted there was no way Waterhouse could have known that her stablehand, Roy Storch, was using cocaine. The hearing was earlier told that Mr Storch had admitted to twice using cocaine but he denied using the drug in the hours leading up to Anzac Day race.

    Outside the hearing, Mr Storch apologised to his boss: "Anything I may have done in my personal time away from Mrs Waterhouse's stables that could have caused the contamination … I am deeply sorry. I'll never take drugs again."

    Both Waterhouse and Mr Storch refused to answer questions as to whether the stablehand was still employed by the trainer.

    During last night's hearing a mystery witness, known only as Peter, appeared to give evidence concerning his knowledge of Mr Storch's alleged drug use on other occasions, in particular the night before the race.

    His evidence was given in camera. Mr Murrihy later commented that Peter was an unimpressive and unreliable witness and that no weight should be given to his evidence.

    Two other Waterhouse employees also gave evidence - one in a statement and another in person - that they had both used cocaine. However, it was held that they did not have any contact with Love You Honey leading up to the race.

    Waterhouse had argued that she should receive no penalty after pleading guilty to the charge on the grounds she had only one prior positive drug test in her 13 years as a trainer.

    She went on to say that it was almost impossible to control what people did outside the workplace and that the proliferation of cocaine in the community was a "complete eye-opener" to her.

    Her solicitor, Clive Jeffreys, had presented several scientific papers concerning the proliferation of cocaine on such things as banknotes.

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