Trainer banned over positive methylamphetamine tests in 3 horses

Australian thoroughbred trainer Luke Griffith has been banned for a total of  four years after three racehorses under his care tested positive for methylamphetamine, also known as ice.

Penalties were imposed after a hearing before a panel of Racing New South Wales stewards.

Griffith was appearing before the three-man panel following the positive tests for the central nervous system stimulant in Another Halo and How Will I Know at Tamworth on January 18, and Incensual at Taree on February 3.

Griffith was found guilty during the hearing of three charges of having administered methylamphetamine to the horses.

He admitted bringing the horses to race when the animals had the prohibited substance in their system, as subsequently detected through testing.

He also admitted that, as a horse handler, at the Tamworth races on March 12 and Scone on April 21, he had a prohibited substance in his own system.

Staff at his stable in Scone also had their urine samples tested. All were clear except for a stable hand, who tested positive to cannabis.

Griffith will, in all, serve a three-year disqualification in respect of the charges relating to the horses. In addition, he was suspended for a total of 12 months in relation to the findings in respect of  his own two urine tests.

His total disqualification will run until May 8, 2019.

Stewards said they accepted that Griffith had not deliberately treated the horses with the illegal recreational drug, but the fact they each won their races was an aggravating factor. All three horses have been disqualified from their wins.

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