ROCKHAMPTON jockey Dale Evans, the architect of a “sophisticated” device designed to deceive racing stewards' drug-testing procedures on a female jockey's urine at Callaghan Park racecourse on April 20, was yesterday disqualified from racing for 18 months.
The sanction, imposed in Rockhampton by adjudicating steward, the retired magistrate Michael Halliday, is believed to be the most severe penalty imposed on a Rockhampton jockey in the last two decades.
The penalty stemmed from Evans having pleaded guilty to improper conduct under Australian Rule of Racing 175 (q).
Queensland Racing Limited's integrity counsel officer Allison Finlay, formerly with the Australian Crime Commission, told Halliday that Evans had conspired with jockey Donna Carrigg to deceive stewards by supplying an instrument containing his urine to be used as a substitution for hers.
That inquiry heard Carrigg was found by stewards to have in the arm of her riding jacket a tied condom filled with urine and containing a sharpened lollypop stick.
Finlay told yesterday's hearing that when questioned after the drug testing at track work early on April 20, Evans denied any involvement with Carrigg or knowledge of the “device”
Subsequently on April 29, Evans owned up to his involvement by telling investigators it was “more my idea” (device and substitution) because he was worried about Carrigg and he was only “helping a friend out”.
“His (Evans's) conduct on the day was deceitful. It took him over a week to own up and his lack of co-operation incurred further costs to QRL with DNA testing.
“The relevant facts are it was Evans's idea, he encouraged, influenced and was persuasive,” Finlay told the hearing.”
The inquiry heard the sharpened stick, when pressed, would perforate the condom so the urine would freely run into the testing container kit.
After giving Carrigg the urine-filled condom device, Evans said Carrigg had told him, “I don't really want to do this”.
Prosecuting the QRL case against Evans, Finlay asked Halliday to impose a penalty of disqualification from 12 to 18 months specifically as a deterrent to uphold the integrity of drug-testing.
In Halliday's damning summation against Evans it was noted that he devised the device, provided his sample, handed it to Carrigg for her to do as she saw fit.
“Your lack of co-operation was a deliberate attempt to frustrate stewards and nullify their duties in drug-testing. I do not accept it was a spur-of-the-moment decision to manufacture the instrument. I want like-minded people such as yourself to know that in racing this conduct will not be tolerated and therefore I impose a disqualification of 18 months,” Halliday said.