Irish racing rocked as banned substances seized in drugs raid

Irish racing rocked as banned substances seized in raid on County Kildare farm used by several trainers as part of equine doping probe 

  • Raid led by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
  • Officials from the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board were also present 
  • Leading Irish trainer Jim Bolger has voiced concerns over the use of illegal drugs 

Irish racing faces a major drugs scandal after animal remedies that are banned for use in racehorses were seized in a raid on a property in County Kildare.

It formed part of an investigation into equine doping by Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Also present were officials from the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, including head of anti-doping Lynn Hillyer, with support from police. 

Irish racing is facing up to the possibility of a major doping scandal after a raid on Wednesday

Reports on Wednesday night suggested racehorses in training with different trainers were at the raided farm.

Those interviewed included a British resident, whose vehicle and phone were impounded. A DAFM spokesperson said: ‘On Tuesday November 9, 2021, authorised officers acting on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine carried out an enforcement operation supported by police attached to the Kildare-Laois drug unit and officers from the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.

‘This department-led operation involved searches and seizure of products as part of an ongoing investigation into equine doping as well as the banned substances. As this is an ongoing investigation, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this time.’

Leading Irish trainer Jim Bolger has voiced concerns that the use of illegal drugs is an issue for Irish racing.

A report from the Irish Government’s agricultural committee on Tuesday concluded that IHRB anti-doping procedures were of ‘the highest possible international standards’.

But it also recommended further beefing up drug-testing measures.




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