Turf Club paying ‘close attention’ to Carrick-on-Suir case
Case is being taken by the Department of Agriculture following an inspection of a leading trainer’s stables
Carrick-on-Suir court case involves banned animal remedies. It’s not known yet the precise nature of these products, but the Turf Club will be paying close attention to what happens.
The Turf Club’s chief executive has confirmed racing’s regulatory body are paying “close attention” to a scheduled court case in Carrick-on-Suir this Thursday, when a leading trainer is due to appear charged with possession of unlicensed animal remedies.
The case is being taken by the Department of Agriculture following an inspection of the trainer’s stables. The precise nature of the unlicensed medicines is unclear.
The case comes four months after a retired Department of Agriculture veterinary inspector, John Hughes, pleaded guilty to five cases of possession of banned animal substances, including the anabolic steroid, Nitrotain. The find of these substances was described in court as “sinister” by a Department of Agriculture official.
The case was subsequently dismissed “on its merits” after Hughes made a donation to charity.
A list of trainers names and contact details was seized by investigators in a search of Hughes’s premises, a list the Turf Club has still to examine, although it has significantly stepped up its testing of horses in-training in recent months. All tests have been negative.
That increase in testing has also come on the back of last year’s Godolphin steroids scandal in Britain when trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni was banned from involvement in racing for eight years after it was established 22 horses he was responsible for tested positive for banned anabolic steroids.
British racing was subsequently rocked by another steroid scandal in December when Irish-born trainer Gerard Butler was disqualified for five years after the British Horseracing Authority judged he was guilty of an “appalling breach of his duty” over his use of steroids on a number of horses in his care.
Butler himself admitted to injecting four horses with Rexogin, a product designed for human use, which contains the anabolic steroid Stanozolol.
He also used the Sungate product, which contains traces of the steroid, on five horses.
A total of 283 ‘in-training’ tests taken by the Turf Club in Ireland last year were all negative. The Turf Club has also said they have no evidence of steroid use in Irish racing circles.
The Turf Club chief executive Denis Egan said that the integrity body are aware of this week’s scheduled court case.
“The case involves banned animal remedies. We don’t know yet the precise nature of these products. But we will be paying close attention to what happens,” said Egan yesterday.