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ORC Rules On Bates' Appeal

Published: October 17, 2012 6:20 pm ET

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The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) released its ruling regarding the appeal and request for hearing by standardbred licensee Timothy Bates on Wednesday evening.

On March 5, 2012, the horse, Signifier (tattoo #5504685), trained by Bates (licence # P33964) finished eighth in the fourth race at Woodbine Racetrack. Following the race, the Judges at Woodbine selected Signifier to provide blood samples for testing. The samples were sent to Racing Forensics for analysis.

On March 8, 2012, the Judges received a Certificate of TCO2 Analysis from Racing Forensics in relation to the sample taken from Signifier with a confirmed TCO2 test result of 38.3 mmol/L.

On March 9, 2012, the Judges issued Standardbred Official Ruling No. SB 43998 to Signifier wherein the horse was rendered ineligible to race for a period of 90 days (March 8 to June 5, 2012 inclusive) in accordance with Rules 11.10.01 and 20.01.01(i) of the Rules of Standardbred Racing.

On May 19, 2012, the Judges issued Standardbred Official Ruling SB 44912 wherein a 60-day full suspension (less time served of 30 days: May 19, 2012 – June 17, 2012) and a fine of $1,500 were imposed upon Bates for violating Rules 22.38.06, 23.38(a), 26.02.01, and 26.02.03(d) of SB Rules as a consequence of the TCO2 confirmation. Rules 6.13.01 and 26.08 of SB Rules were also listed in the Ruling.

On May 19, 2012, the Judges also issued Standardbred Official Ruling SB 44911 to Bates wherein, pursuant to Policy Directive No. 3-2008, conditions are to be placed on Bates’ licence upon reinstatement for a two-year period (June 18, 2012 to June 18, 2014).

On May 22, 2012, Bates filed a Notice of Appeal.

On May 29, 2012, the Deputy Director issued Ruling Number SB 65/2012 wherein Bates received a conditional stay of his penalties.

On June 21, 2012, a Notice of Hearing was issued to inform the parties that a Panel of the ORC would be convening on July 31, 2012, for the purpose of hearing Bates' appeal.

On August 27, 2012, further to an adjournment request by Bates, a second Notice of Hearing was issued to inform the parties that a Panel of the ORC would be convening on October 9, 2012, for the purpose of hearing BATES’ appeal.

On October 9, 2012, a Panel of the ORC comprised of Chair Rod Seiling, Commissioner Brenda Walker, and Commissioner Dan Nixon was convened to hear the appeal. Bates was in attendance and was accompanied by Bill O’Donnell. Jennifer Friedman appeared as counsel for the Administration of the ORC.

Upon considering the preliminary motion by the Administration of the ORC to correct the “time served” reference on Standardbred Official Ruling SB 44912, hearing the testimony of Oleh Kupraty, Chuck Fraleigh, Brent Stone, Richard Tso, Dr. Robert McKenzie (who was qualified as an expert witness), Costas Demetrious, and Bates, reviewing the exhibits filed, and considering the oral submissions, the Panel reserved its decision.

Thereafter, the Panel denied the appeal, and ordered the following penalty:

i) Sixty-day (60) full suspension,
ii) $1,500 fine,
iii) Two-year (2) probation to commence at the conclusion of the suspension with the following conditions:

    a) The Licensee shall keep the peace and be of good behaviour;
    b) The Licensee shall allow Commission investigators access to the stabling area at any time to conduct random searches;
    c) The Licensee shall allow the seizures of illegal or non-therapeutic drugs or medications;
    d) The Licensee shall be subject to the Commission’s Out of Competition Testing;
    e) The Licensee may be subject to a Notice of Proposed Order in addition to any penalty imposed by the ORC Judges for any breach of the terms of his licence.

The Panel’s Reasons for Decision are available here.

(With files from the ORC)

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