AZ Department of Gaming suspends greyhound trainer's license - Tucson News Now

AZ Department of Gaming suspends greyhound trainer's license

A spokeswoman for the Arizona Department of Gaming said it was not common for dogs to test positive for Metandienone. (Source: Tucson News Now) A spokeswoman for the Arizona Department of Gaming said it was not common for dogs to test positive for Metandienone. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Arizona Department of Gaming suspended the license of a dog trainer for 45 days after prohibited substances were found in urine tests of two dogs who recently won a race.

Willie Davis went before state officials at a public hearing on Wednesday night. 

He is facing a $1,500 fine, and will also be sent to the director of Arizona Department of Gaming for further punishment. 

Amanda Jacinto, a public information officer with the department, said they conduct randomized testing of all race dogs at Tucson Greyhound Park, and they also test the urine of every dog that wins a race.

In this case, Jacinto said both dogs had received 1st place during races held on Nov. 20, 2015.

The test results came back on Nov. 25th, and showed the presence of the substance Methandienone, a synthetic steroid, in the dogs' urine. 

Jacinto said it is not common for dogs to test positive for such substances. 

During his hearing, Davis said he didn't know what the drug was or where it came from. 

He claimed the kennel owner brought the drug to him and said it was a prescription. He said he was told to give it to the dogs every Sunday and Thursday. 

Greyhound advocates who are strongly against any type of dog racing at the park said they were not surprised to hear the allegations. 

"The dogs are a commodity. We consider them a pet but to the racing industry they're a commodity, a throw away," said Karyn Zoldan, a greyhound advocate who has rescued and adopted several former racing Greyhounds.

Dale Popp, the general manager of Tucson Greyhound Park, said in a phone interview that he was baffled and perplexed to hear about the allegations. 

He said Davis has worked with dogs at the park for more than 30 years. 

Popp added that there is no incentive to "juice up" the dogs at the park, as the money that could be won in a race does not justify the sanctions one could receive if found guilty of the allegations.

State officials said for a first offense, that could be a license suspension of 15-60 days, and a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000.

Department records revealed that Davis was fined $1,000 by the Department of Gaming in 2011 for not letting the dogs out of the kennel for an appropriate amount of time, recommended by the department.

Davis has 72 hours to appeal Wednesday's decision.

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