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Non Raceday Inquiry - Colgan, VA decsn 21 Mar 09


NATURE OF HEARING :  The charge is laid under Rule 528(1).  It is said that at Racing Matamata on 21 February this year Mr Colgan was required to give a urine sample.  This subsequently tested positive for the diuretic Frusemide.




                                                                  IN THE MATTER         of the New Zealand Rules                                   of Racing


                                                                  BETWEEN                   NEW ZEALAND                                                                                                           THOROUGHBRED RACING



                                                                  AND                            Vincent Alexander COLGAN,                                                                                                 Licensed Rider



DATE OF HEARING                                    Saturday 21 March 2009


VENUE                                                       Tauranga Racing Club, Tauranga


PRESENT                                                    Mr B McKenzie (Racecourse Inspector)

                                                                  for New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (Informant)

                                                                  Mr V A Colgan (Licensed Rider - Defendant)


JUDICIAL COMMITTEE                              Mr R Seabrook (Chair)

                                                                  Mr D Johnstone







NATURE OF HEARING :  The charge is laid under Rule 528(1).  It is said that at Racing Matamata on 21 February this year Mr Colgan was required to give a urine sample.  This subsequently tested positive for the diuretic Frusemide.


Mr Colgan acknowledged to the Committee he had received a copy of the charge and the Rule pertaining to such charge.


He told the committee he admitted the charge.




On the 21 February 2009 at the race meeting conducted by Racing Matamata, NZTR conducted random drug testing on a number of riders.  V A Colgan was one of those riders selected.  He duly supplied a sample of his urine.


This urine sample along with all others was forwarded to the ESR.  The ESR have reported that the sample ID number 448834 in the name of Vinnie Colgan had tested positive to the diuretic Frusemide which therefore comes within the purview of Rule 528(1) of the NZ Rules of Racing.


Jockey Colgan was advised of this positive on Friday 6 March 2009 at Matamata.  He was handed a copy of the ESR certificate.  He admitted the use of Frusemide.  He said that on the morning of the races he had taken a Frusemide pill.  He said the pill was one he had in his possession at the time and which had been prescribed for him by his doctor.


He further stated that he had been away from riding for two weeks prior to this race day and had engaged himself for one ride at a lesser weight than other rides he had on the day.  He was upset that by his taking a pill to enable him to ride for a $100 riding fee, it was going to cost him by way of a large fine.


Jockey Colgan has not previously appeared before the JCA on a drugs related charge.  In 2008 he was suspended from the 27 July to the 23 August for failing an alcohol breath test.



Mr B McKenzie stated that earlier penalties for the breach of this Rule had been $750 to $1,000.  However, Mr McKenzie told the Committee that NZTR had made it known to jockeys through the Jockeys Association that more significant monetary penalties would be sought for breaches of this Rule involving diuretics.  He said the most penalty was that given to another senior rider of $1,850.  However, he did point out to the Committee that that rider had incurred a previous conviction for the use of a prohibited drug.  He said he would leave it to the Committee to decide an appropriate penalty.



Mindful of Mr McKenzie’s submissions and Mr Colgan’s guilty plea, and taking into account that this is Mr Colgan’s first charge of taking a prohibited drug we impose a fine of $1,500.  The Committee reminded Mr Colgan of his obligations under this Rule and it was invoked with the welfare and safety of all riders being paramount.  There will be no order to costs as this was held on a race day at which Mr Colgan was not riding.





R M Seabrook                                                            




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