Horse trainer banned for drug use
PAT Camilleri's long-serving career in the CQ racing industry suffered a blow yesterday when he was suspended from riding his horses at Callaghan Park for three months.
Racing Queensland Stewards yesterday conducted an inquiry into the results of analysis of the urine sample provided by the veteran Rockhampton trainer after he rode track work at Callaghan Park racecourse last week.
Camilleri pleaded guilty to a charge stemming from a urine sample, provided by him on January 2, which was found to contain a banned substance - marijuana.
In consideration of penalty, stewards were mindful of Camilleri's honest and forthright approach to the inquiry, his obvious remorse, his exemplary record over a significant number of years involved in racing, that this was his first breach of this rule and previous penalties imposed for breaches of this rule involving marijuana.
"The penalty is in line with others handed down in Australia but it is quite unique to have a trainer suspended for having a prohibited substance in his system," chief steward Luke Collins said.
It was the stewards' decision that Camilleri be suspended from riding track work for a period of three months to commence from January 4 up to and including April 4.
Camilleri was also advised that he must provide a urine sample clear of any prohibited substances prior to him being able to ride track work.
Attempts to contact Camilleri were unsuccessful yesterday.