BHA say there’s no reason to disqualify St Leger winner Encke
Spokesperson insists any banned substance would have been detected at the time
Encke lands last year’s St Leger at Doncaster, denying Camelot the much coveted Triple Crown.
Encke will retain his status as a Classic winner despite Monday’s revelation that he returned a positive test for an anabolic steroid this spring.
Racing’s ruling body said yesterday there was no reason to disqualify him from his victory in September’s St Leger but there is a chance that another horse caught up in the steroid scandal will be disqualified from a race won in April.
There has been widespread suspicion of Encke’s success in the Doncaster Classic since the British Horseracing Authority confirmed he was one of seven more horses found to have stanozolol in their systems when tested in late April. Those seven take to 22 the number of horses known to have been doped by the disgraced former trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni, given an eight-year worldwide ban last month.
There have been suggestions that samples taken from Encke on the day of his St Leger success and the previous month should be re-tested with the specific aim of looking for any trace of steroid. However, Robin Mounsey, a BHA spokesman, said yesterday that is impossible, as samples taken at racecourses are destroyed after being tested, which he said is standard practice across Europe.
Mounsey added that BHA testing procedures have not changed since the autumn and any banned substance in Encke’s system at the time would have been detected.