Allegations have arose from the greyhound racing industry that over 70 dogs were drug-tested and the results were positive to such drugs as cocaine, EPO, amphetamines and caffeine, all of which are banned and in some cases illegal drugs, both performance enhancing and recreational.
The story was aired on ABC News’ program “7:30” describing the not so glamorous life of a greyhound in the racing industry. A trainer interviewed on the program who had been in the industry for 25 years said that “there never was, and there never will be” when asked if there will ever be a level playing field. A profound trainer Mark Azzopardi had one of his major winning dogs tested positive for cocaine, and as a result was handed a 2 year ban from racing and a damaged reputation and claimed that one of his off-siders was using the drug recreationally and came into contact with the dog, saying that “It’s the only thing we could find because I sure as hell have never or don’t dope my greyhounds. My record speaks for itself.”
Similarly to the horse racing industry, there is not only problems with doping, there is a severe amount of overbreeding, with records of 17,000 greyhounds being destroyed every year, either they aren’t deemed fast enough to win, or some meet their demise at only a few weeks of age. An estimated 40% of this number will never actually race in their life, ultimately contributing to the wastage. Reports from industry insiders alleged that methods such as drowning, shooting and bludgeoning with a hammer are just some of the ways that unwanted dogs are “retired”, leaving those who are lucky enough to be euthanised. Because of the intense speed and high intensity of the racing itself, many greyhounds will become injured or even suffer cardiac arrest on the racetrack and will be put-down on site.
And whilst it seems for most race-goers that this is lively and exciting sport to bet on, the reality is rather dim, due to these factors and not everyone is willing to accept it.