You are here: Home / Race Days / Dummy Location - 1 January 2001 / Non Raceday Inquiry - L Innes 09 March 09

Non Raceday Inquiry - L Innes 09 March 09



528.1

1. NATURE OF INQUIRY
1.1 This is a non raceday hearing in respect of a charge brought against the licensed jockey Leith Innes. The charge is laid under Rule 528(1). It is said that at Racing Matamata on the 21st February this year when Mr Innes was required to give a urine sample this tested positive for the diuretic Frusemide.

 



BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY
AT TE RAPA, HAMILTON
 IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Racing
 BETWEEN NEW ZEALAND THOROUGHBRED RACING
   Informant
 AND LEITH INNES, Licensed Rider
   Defendant

DATE OF HEARING Monday 09 March 2009
VENUE Waikato Racing Club, Te Rapa Racecourse, Hamilton
JUDICIAL COMMITTEE Mr M S McKechnie, Chairman
 Mr R M Seabrook
PRESENT Mr Leith Innes
 Mr John McKenzie, Chief Racecourse Inspector, NZTR
 Mr Bryan McKenzie, Racecourse Inspector, NZTR
 
  
1. NATURE OF INQUIRY
1.1 This is a non raceday hearing in respect of a charge brought against the licensed jockey Leith Innes. The charge is laid under Rule 528(1). It is said that at Racing Matamata on the 21st February this year when Mr Innes was required to give a urine sample this tested positive for the diuretic Frusemide.

2. CASE FOR NZTR
2.1 Mr John McKenzie the Chief Racecourse Inspector made submissions. Mr Bryan McKenzie, Racecourse Inspector is also present at the hearing today and it was he who was on duty at Matamata on the 21st February.
2.2 Mr John McKenzie spoke with Mr Innes at the Ellerslie Racecourse on the 7th March this year. Mr Innes indicated that he wished to plead guilty to the charge.  A statement was taken from him. Mr Innes is not present today. He says his unavailability is beyond his control. Beyond that the committee has no explanation for his absence. Persons licensed under the Rules of Racing  who face charges before non raceday Judicial Committees should in the ordinary course of events be present and if not some significant reason should be advanced.

2.3 In his statement made on the 7th March Mr Innes sets out the events leading up to the giving of the sample at Matamata on the 21st February. There was a race meeting at Otaki on the previous day and Mr Innes had a significant book of rides. He recounts feeling dehydrated and explains the eating and drinking which he engaged in thereafter. He acknowledges that when he arrived at Matamata he was one kilogram overweight and he then made the decision to take half a Frusemide tablet.

2.4 In the letter of the 7th March there is reference to the appropriate level of penalty. Mr Innes acknowledges in the letter that he has discussed the issue of penalty with Mr John McKenzie and the letter makes it clear that he (Mr Innes) understands that NZTR will seek a monetary penalty in the range of $2,000.00.

3. APPROPRIATE PENALTY
3.1 The committee was told of other recent cases involving jockeys who have taken diuretics. Mr Seabrook has personal knowledge of some of these cases. Of particular relevance are those involving the senior jockeys Messrs Haden Tinsley and David Walker. In each case a fine of $1,000.00 was imposed.

3.2 Mr John McKenzie told the committee that NZTR has made it known to jockeys and through the Jockeys Association that more significant monetary penalties will be sought for breaches of this rule which involve diuretics. In the light of those circumstances Mr McKenzie confirms the advice recorded in the letter from Mr Innes of the 7th March that NZTR seeks a penalty in the range of $2,000.00. That is a significant lift from the previous penalty but Mr McKenzie explains that this increase can be anticipated by jockeys in the light of the advice which they have been given.

3.3 With reference to the circumstances of Mr Innes Mr John McKenzie draws attention to the fact that he has not previously been charged with a breach of the diuretic rule. He was however suspended by Queensland Racing Authorities in 2007. That suspension was for a period of four (4) months and related to a positive test for the prohibited substance ecstasy. It was explained to the committee that a suspension under the Rules of Racing in Queensland has consequences very similar to a disqualification under the Rules of Racing in New Zealand.

3.4 It can be said for Mr Innes that he has acknowledged the circumstances without hesitation. Given the positive test – we have been furnished with the material from ESR – he probably in reality had little option.

3.5 Mindful of Mr McKenzie’s submissions and Mr Innes’ letter which acknowledges his understanding of the nature of the penalty that will be sought the figures that we have determined are as follows. There will be a fine of $1,850.00 and in addition Mr Innes will pay $250.00 towards the expenses of the JCA.

3.6 This decision should make clear to jockeys that the level of penalties has now moved to a somewhat higher level. Further we record that Mr John McKenzie explained that if jockeys offend on a second or subsequent occasion in relation to diuretics it is likely that a period of suspension will be sought.


Murray McKechnie
Chairman
16th  March 2009

Document Actions