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Monday 15, Dec 2014

  Philip Fenton Found Guilty Of Steroid Possession

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Philip Fenton Found Guilty Of Steroid Possession

Irish trainer Philip Fenton was found guilty of eight charges of possessing unlicensed animal remedies.

The trainer, who is now considering an appeal, has been fined €6,000 and must pay more than €10,000 in total costs following the hearing into charges brought by Ireland’s Department of Agriculture at Carrick-on-Suir District Court in County Tipperary. The Cheltenham Festival-winning trainer was found guilty for harboring unlicensed animal remedies, including the steroid Nitrotrain (which contains the steroid ethylestrenol) and Ilium Stanabolic, the performance-enhancing drug that contains the steroid Stanozolol.

The drugs were found hidden underneath a horse blanket near the medicine store of Fenton, in a cardboard box addressed to the trainer at his stable during a raid on Fenton’s stable in January 2012 by investigators from Ireland’s Department of Agriculture.

The Department is being represented by Sean Gillane, senior counsel, with barrister Johnny Walshe representing Fenton.

Barrister Johnny Walshe representing Fenton claimed that the Department’s investigators did not followed the correct protocols when they visited Fenton’s yard and after the visit. Walshe referred to the absence of a search warrant and a Department exhibits book to record details of the substances found. The Barrister also pointed to the alleged failure of officials to caution Fenton on the day in question. In summary, the presiding judge, Timothy Lucey, said he was in no doubt that the substances listed in the charges and shown to the court were the same ones that had been found in the yard of Fenton though he remarked some of the procedures had been “sloppy.”

The court was told by Caroline Garvan, a vet with the Department, that the 1kg tub of Nitrotain contained enough of the steroid to provide 250 doses. Garvan also remarked anabolic steroids increase muscle mass, stamina and strength and also said they are most definitely a performance-enhancer. The Vet added steroids increase an animal’s musculature and ability to perform and commented that Ethylestranol is probably the most potent anabolic steroid you could see as it is four times stronger than Stanozolol and you would start to see its effects in about two weeks. He also remarked it is also very difficult to detect as it can be excreted out of the body in 24 hours.

Nitrotain gives an opportunity to an unscrupulous trainer to improve the performance of a horse with little chance of their cheating being discovered in a post-race dope test.

The Turf Club will also initiate its own investigation into the case following the guilty verdict against Fenton. Turf Club chief executive Denis Egan said the next step is we will be interviewing Philip and the matter will then be referred to our referral committee. Egan added we will get to work on it almost immediately. Chris Gordon, the head of security for the Irish Turf Club, said regular of the sport in Ireland would take the appropriate steps following the conclusion of the court case. Gordon also remarked there will be an investigation commenced immediately and an interview with Philip Fenton will form part of the investigation.

The 49-year-old is best known for handling Cheltenham Gold Cup hope Last Instalment and 2009 Champion Bumper winner Dunguib.

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Monday 29, Apr 2013

  Godolphin Trainer Faces Horse Doping Inquiry

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Godolphin Trainer Faces Horse Doping Inquiry

In one of the biggest doping scandals in British racing history, eleven horses from the Godolphin stable have tested positive for anabolic steroids.

Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni will be attending an inquiry by the British Horseracing Authority after irregularities were discovered in 11 of 45 racehorses and the trainer has admitted making “a catastrophic mistake”. Though no date has yet been announced for the inquiry, Adam Brickell, director of integrity, legal and risk for the BHA, said the BHA understand the importance of this process being carried out as quickly as possible because of implications for betting markets.

Stable manager Simon Crisford remarked that this is a dark day for the Godolphin stable and everyone is shocked with what all has happened. The 11 horses that tested positive for anabolic steroids together won more than $2m (£1.31m) in prize money include unbeaten Certify, who will not be allowed to run in next month’s 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket. The substances detected were ethylestrenol and Stanozolol.

Adam Brickell, director of integrity, legal and risk for the British Horseracing Authority, said ethylestranol and stanozolol are anabolic steroids and therefore prohibited substances under British rules of racing, at any time – either in training or racing. The BHA confirmed that samples were obtained on April 9 this year from 45 horses trained by Al Zarooni at Moulton Paddocks Stables in Newmarket and that the Horseracing Forensic Laboratory had detected prohibited substances.

Godolphin is the private thoroughbred horseracing stable of the Maktoum family and is overseen by the constitutional monarch of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed, who appointed Al Zarooni three years ago. Horses of the stable spend the winter in Dubai before transferring to the UK stables of Godolphin in Newmarket. A statement on the website of Godolphin said, Al Zarooni has admitted that he was responsible for the administration of the prohibited substances and the trainer remarked he didn’t realize that was he was doing was in breach of the rules of racing because the horses involved were not racing at that time. Zarooni added that he can only apologize for the damage the doping scandal will cause to Godolphin and to racing generally.

In 2011, Zarooni won his first British Classic in 2011 when Blue Bunting landed the 1,000 Guineas under Frankie Dettori at Newmarket and the filly went on to claim the Irish Oaks. Rewilding provided a victory at Royal Ascot and Monterosso won the world’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup, in March 2012. Zarooni enjoyed a second British Classic success when 25-1 shot Encke upset Camelot to win the St Leger at Doncaster in September 2012. Last year’s Royal Ascot Gold Cup runner-up Opinion Poll was one of four horses testing positive for Stanozolol.

Racing manager Crisford added His Highness Sheikh Mohammed was absolutely appalled when he was told and this is completely unacceptable to him and added that we will await the outcome of the BHA inquiry before taking any further internal action. He also added that Sheikh Mohammed has instructed him to begin an urgent review of all of our procedures and controls and that is already under way and we will take advice from the British Horseracing Authority in completing it.

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