Robinvale harness trainer Chris Smythe has been found guilty of presenting a horse to race not free of prohibited substances but has escaped disqualification.

Mr Smythe has been fined $3000 for the offence, of which $2000 was suspended for a period of 12 months.

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board, chaired by Brian Collis, considered a charge under rule 190(1) related to a urine sample collected from the horse ‘Mere Mortal’ won the ‘David and Sue Livingstone Pace’, at the Charlton harness racing meeting on July 2 this year. 2017.

 Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of that urine sample revealed the sample to contain arsenic in excess of the allowable threshold.

 Mr Smythe pleaded guilty to the charge before submissions on penalty were heard from HRV Stewards and Mr Smythe.

 In deciding an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered Mr Smythe’s guilty plea and cooperation throughout the investigation; Mr Smythe’s good record over a long period in the industry; both general and specific deterrence; consistency of penalty and other similar matters.

The HRV RAD Board also ordered that, under rule  195, ‘Mere Mortal’ be disqualified from Race four at Charlton on July 2 and that the placings be amended accordingly.