claims at parliamentary hearing Jim Bolger: has made serious allegations about doping in Irish racing
Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos) 1 of 1 By Brian Sheerin 5:17PM, JUN 22 2021
Jim Bolger will be given the opportunity to substantiate claims made about drug cheats in Irish racing at a parliamentary hearing on July 6 when the sport's senior officials will also be quizzed about some of the comments made by the trainer in recent weeks.
Bolger first voiced concern about the issue last October when labelling the use of performance-enhancing substances as the "number one problem" facing the industry and said he knew the identity of the perpetrators. He has reaffirmed his stance in a series of Sunday Independent interviews with Paul Kimmage recently in which he demanded “a level playing pitch” in Irish racing.
When former cyclist Kimmage put it to Bolger that he was "seeing a lot of parallels with pro cycling", Bolger replied: "Well, there will be a Lance Armstrong in Irish racing."
Fianna Fail TD Jackie Cahill revealed that given the seriousness of Bolger’s accusations it was unanimously agreed at government level to invite Bolger – along with senior members of Horse Racing Ireland, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board and the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association – to address the issue.
Cahill said: “There was a private meeting of the Oireachtas committee on Monday when we dealt with a request to investigate allegations made by Jim Bolger about drug cheats in horseracing. It was unanimously agreed that there were serious accusations made in the public domain and that we would hold committee meetings to address the situation.
“We agreed to invite Jim Bolger, HRI, the IHRB, the Department of Agriculture and the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association. We have set July 6 as the date for the meeting and I would imagine, with the amount of people that will be attending, we will require two sessions to get through everybody.