In Brief

Champion greyhound tests positive for cocaine

Clonbrien Hero has been banned from racing until it is passed clear

An Irish champion greyhound has tested positive for cocaine on three separate occasions, it emerged this week. 

The Irish Independent reports that after winning the Irish Laurels at Curraheen Park in July, Clonbrien Hero returned a positive test for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine. 

Urine samples were taken at Cork Greyhound Stadium on 24 June and on 1 and 22 July - and traces of the metabolite were found in all three tests.

Clonbrien Hero’s trainer, Graham Holland, denies any wrongdoing and said that the greyhound may have accidentally ingested minute amounts of the drug.

He told The Times: “We feel we are being victimised here for something we haven’t done. If you know you are going to be tested when you win a race, you are not going to administer cocaine to a greyhound. 

“I’ve been training greyhounds for over 30 years and now I’m accused of doping them.

“You can pass traces of cocaine by handling money. When a dog wins a race, people are walking up to the dog and patting it on the head. If they have cocaine on their hands, they can pass that to the dog and it can come out in a urine sample.”

Clonbrien Hero’s £27,000 in prize money is being withheld and the dog has been banned from racing until it gives a clean test.

The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB), which carried out the drugs checks, said it does not comment on individual cases. In a statement published by The Sun, the IGB said: “The Irish Greyhound Board, as part of its robust testing regime, publishes any adverse findings as they arise.

“Adverse analytical findings are reported by IGB to the control committee pursuant to the Greyhound Industry [Racing] Regulations, with a request for the control committee to investigate the matter as provided for in legislation.

“IGB does not comment on individual cases which have been referred to the control committee and which may proceed to investigation. Decisions of the control committee may also be appealed.”

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