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20 Sep 18 14:01
Date Joined: 30 Sep 02
| Topic/replies: 2,625 | Blogger: mmmalushka's blog
Suspended sentence for injecting performance enhancing products,
Willie Mullins exonerated by Irish officials over vet drugs bust when his Vet is caught with performance enhancing drugs at his stable.
Trainers given a days notice of a drug testing visit.
And plenty more.
Pause Switch to Standard View Irish Racing and integrity issues.
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Report TheFear September 20, 2018 2:07 PM BST
Well said mmalushka! The day's warning is an absolute joke. If you make a surprise visit there might be substances at the yard to be confiscated. If you give them a day's warning everything is gone.

And the Mullins vet had hemo 15. Was that the same "supplement" Hanlon was using? (Hi irish whisper)
Report mrcombustible September 20, 2018 7:46 PM BST
Richard Forristal
7:23PM, SEP 20 2018
The positive slant on Irish racing's regulator unearthing 21 positive tests in the first nine months of the year is that of a robust testing system working well.

However, context is imperative. In Britain, where 9,123 raceday tests were undertaken in 2017, just 16 positive tests – 0.17 per cent – were returned. In each of the past three years in Ireland there have been five positives from a maximum of 4,094 tests, which is last year's overall total including out-of-competition testing. That equates to 0.12 per cent.

Now, all of a sudden, we already have 21 positives. That's nearly on a par with the whole of Britain in 2017 from a third of the samples. At an estimate of 3,000 samples so far, that's 0.7 per cent.

It reflects poorly on Irish racing and there is little more damning than the reality that 12 winners have already been disqualified. That is a shocking blow to the integrity of the sport.

How do you explain such a high ratio of illegitimate winners? This has cost connections of the 12 respective runners-up and punters on the days in question.

Back in June, when the IHRB's chief executive Denis Egan stated the spike in positives wasn't sinister, he suggested it was more to do with "sloppy practices".

Denis Egan: IHRB chief executive cited the "sloppy practices" of trainers
Denis Egan: IHRB chief executive cited the "sloppy practices" of trainers
Patrick McCann
If we accept benignly that even the cobalt cases were due to poor management rather than a wilful intent to enhance performance, then the implication is that trainers as a collective have all of a sudden become extremely sloppy when they weren't before.

That simply doesn't wash and it may be that the switch to LGC laboratories in Newmarket and the surge in numbers are related.

There had long been concerns about the regulator's longstanding BHP Laboratories partner in Limerick and we first revealed the IHRB's inability to test for enhanced levels of cobalt and TCO2 – more commonly known as milkshaking – exactly two years ago.

When a false positive for the anabolic steroid methandriol was returned a year ago – a second false positive to emerge – it eventually led to the IHRB ending its association with BHP.

Maybe the surge in numbers and change in labs is entirely coincidental and it's true that, since Lynn Hillyer's appointment two years ago, increasing numbers of samples were being sent abroad for analysis without raising alarm bells.

Nevertheless, the suspicion persists that trainers fell into careless habits because for a long time there was little incentive to be more vigilant. That is an appalling reality that falls firmly at the regulator's door.

Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on

The suspicion persists that trainers fell into careless habits because for long time there was no incentive not to be more vigilant
Related stories
Spike in positives does not indicate systematic doping
Report TheFear September 20, 2018 8:09 PM BST
The UK are no better obviously. They are like all governing bodies sweeping stuff under the carpet is the No.1 aim.
Report ItsMeSwaddle September 20, 2018 8:52 PM BST
Surely a days notice is as good as 100?
Report mmmalushka September 21, 2018 1:47 PM BST
Denis Regan commentating on John Hughes the banned Irish Vet who importeg 250kg  of steroids enough for 62,000 doses whilst employed by th Irish dept of agriculture said  “And we don't know what these drugs were for,” Egan was quoted as saying about the Hughes case, “whether they were for use on horses, or cattle.”
Report TheFear September 21, 2018 1:56 PM BST
The welsh were using a wormer for cattle as a boost for horses a while back.

It's me swaddle - they said if they gave one day's notice then the drugs would still be in the horse's system.
Report mmmalushka September 21, 2018 2:00 PM BST
Denis Egan (not Regan)the IHRB Chief Executive
Report TheFear September 21, 2018 2:01 PM BST
62k doses just enough for willie and gordy
Report TheFear September 21, 2018 2:01 PM BST
only joking of course Blush
Report mmmalushka September 21, 2018 2:16 PM BST
The IHRB  never published the the mailing list of the 30 Irish trainers who were on Hughes's mailing list and Hughes never co-operated with the inquiry.
Report mmmalushka December 24, 2018 1:05 PM GMT
Another two cases of cobalt doping swept under the carpet by IHRB.
The Irish Field / News / Latest News
Two more 'cobalt' winners disqualified

Approximately 30 horses have failed drugs tests in Irish racing this year, almost six times more than in each of the past two years

TRAINERS Joseph O'Brien and Michael O'Connor have had a winner disqualified for testing positive for cobalt.

There has been a huge increase in positive drug tests in Irish racing this year. Only five positives were returned in both 2016 and 2017 but there have been approximatelly 30 this year. Some trainers believe the rise is linked to the change in laboratory being used by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Body [IHRB] to test samples, though the IHRB has not commented.

Cobalt is a mineral present in some over-the-counter feed supplements. The scientific community is divided over whether cobalt is performance-enhancing but all major racing nations have an international threshold for the substance. In Ireland it is 100 nanograms per millilitre.

O'Connor's case relates to a hurdle race won by Awbeg Prince at Ballinrobe on May 29th. The horse had been off the track for eight months and O'Connor told the Referrals Committee this week that the horse was on a "regimen of supplements" in the lead-up to the race.

The IHRB's chief veterinary officer Dr Lynn Hillyer reviewed the list of supplements provided by O'Connor and said that she did not believe they were the source of the adverse dope test findings.

It was the IHRB's view that the substance was administered by injection close to the race but they were not sufficiently satisfied that O'Connor was personally responsible.

The horse was disqualified and the trainer fined €1,000 with costs of €500 awarded in favour of the IHRB. The race was awarded to Oliver McKiernan's Gallant John Joe.


Joseph O'Brien's winner to return a positive test for cobalt was Pedisnap at Gowran Park on August 15th, the filly's third win of the season.

Dr Hillyer reported that, following an investigation, she believed the source of the cobalt was a salt lick which Pedisnap was exposed to on a daily basis, including on the day of the race.

The Referrals Committee accepted that the trainer had insufficient information available to him on the ingredients of the product. They imposed a €1,000 fine but waived it as they were satisfied he had taken all reasonable precautions to avoid a rule breach. The race was awarded to Pat Flynn's Lizard Point.
The spike in positives – 21 so far with six cases still to be heard – coincides with the regulator's cessation of its long-standing ties with BHP Laboratories in Limerick in February, since then it has been using LGC's lab in Newmarket.

What a rotten state of affairs.
Report hulk23 December 24, 2018 1:25 PM GMT
Pedisnap was hammered that day -

(Morning price: 15/2 8/1 15/2 6/1 11/2 5/1)
(Ring price: 7/2 4/1 7/2 3/1 11/4) SP 11/4
Report Bigwillystyle December 24, 2018 7:02 PM GMT
Sure we can all name the stables in the UK that are at it aswell!!
Report Bigwillystyle December 24, 2018 7:04 PM GMT
Blue Silks Arab owners who have access to the best of everything!
A doctor who has turned into a good NH trainer.
A man that's first name is Chemical LaughLaughLaugh
Report Bigwillystyle December 24, 2018 7:05 PM GMT
Fair play to them.
Report mmmalushka December 24, 2018 7:44 PM GMT
Bigwilliestyle, The big difference between regimes is Nicky Henderson was fined £44,000 and banned for 3 months for failing a dope test with the Queens horse, Al Zarooni got banned for 8 years, Irish trainers get 1000 euro fines many of which are then waived by the IHRB. ROTTEN TO THE CORE!
Report Too Easy December 24, 2018 9:02 PM GMT
mmmalushka, by comparing those two cases you are showing that the BHA is just as bad on drug issues.  The Henderson episode was a joke as he was banned for summer jumps racing where he rarely has a runner. And the Al Zarooni was an even bigger joke whereby the whole case was done and dusted within a few days so as for Al to take the rap as some kind of mad needle trainer who was doing it all on his own accord!  He was quitely shuffled off to the desert so no further questions would be asked.  I find it extremely hard to imagine that he was acting solely alone!  there are plenty of UK cases whereby trainers have just got knuckle raps too. Sadly, I think both jurisdictions are kidding themselves if they think there are not serious performance enhancing (and dehancing for when required!) issues.  And instead of dealing with it head on and getting it sorted all these pathetic puny penalties mean the only people being taken for mugs are the sports followers.
Report irishone December 24, 2018 9:26 PM GMT
What do you want ?
The sport paraded across the worlds press as corrupt  ? .
We all know its corrupt.
And we all know no matter how many rules you have
You cant administer or police them
There is always someone out there
To break them.
Until the balance is pulled back the other way
Towards a sport rather than a business
This will get worse
Report cloone river December 24, 2018 10:22 PM GMT
Rulebooks are written in black and white but are best when open to some grey interpretations. Context is vital in most things, especially when it comes to responsibility. However there's a danger in too much grey. Right now there's a gaping grey area that can effectively turn breaches of the prohibited substance rules into a vacuum where no one's responsible because no one's to blame. And a regulation that can come to no better conclusion than that is little more than window dressing.

The news of two more positive tests for cobalt, which brought to 19 the number of 'winners' disqualified for positive tests on the track and in point to points this year, inevitably focussed on Joseph O'Brien's horse Pedisnap. O'Brien is one of the most high profile names in the sport. Pedisnap lost the race at Gowran in August but O'Brien's E1,000 fine was waived after it was established the horse's positive result was due to a 'salt lick' it was exposed to on race-day.

There was nothing so conclusive about the Mikey O'Connor trained Awbeg Prince losing a maiden hurdle at Ballinrobe in May.

In evidence at last week's Referrals Committee hearing the head of anti-doping Dr Lynn Hillyr said O'Connor provided information about supplements the horse was given and added that the level of vitamin B12 and cobalt contained in them didn't indicate they were the source of the positive test result. The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board position was that the substance was administered to Awbeg Prince by injection close to the race.

O'Connor stated either he or a sister of Awbeg Prince's owner were with the horse at all times on the day of the race. He had no idea as to the source of the analytical finding.

The Committee found O'Connor failed to take reasonable precautions to avoid a breach of the rules, imposed a fine of €1,000, disqualified the horse and accepted the IHRB position that the substance had been administered to Awbeg Prince by injection close to the race. However they were not sufficiently satisfied O'Connor was personally responsible for the administration and took no further action against him.

So not for the first time this year when it comes to positive tests for prohibited substances the racing public is left to conclude no one's to blame with the impression left hanging out there that the matter just gets filed under 'one of those things.' And in credibility terms, for any regulatory body, and the reputation of any sport, such a vacuum is unsustainable.

It isn't just a problem for Irish racing. The thorny question of where the extent of a trainer's responsibility as a licence holder begins and ends, and the complex nuances involved in strict liability versus taking all reasonable precautions, has been under the spotlight in Britain too, for example last year in relation to high profile cases involving Philip Hobbs and Hughie Morrison.

There are very fundamental issues involved in such matters. Imposing liability without proof of wrongdoing can leave individual innocent parties wronged just because they hold a licence. It undermines the law and has potentially devastating implications for someone's reputation and livelihood.

However there is a broader context too and no matter the jurisdiction racing's long-term regulatory credibility is threatened if it continues to throw up scenarios where rules get broken and no one's to blame because no responsibility can be assigned. That's too grey in anyone's book and leaves the disciplinary process open to charges it is an exercise in activity rather than action.
Report irishone December 25, 2018 3:01 AM GMT
Its forever going to be a work in progress
Johnson cheated on the gold cup winner
He couldnt give two tuppences
Level of fines and sanctions are laughable
But you arenever going to get it right
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