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TOPOFTHEHILL



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Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:41 am

While things have been a bit quiet due to the lock down I have been trying to research (amongst other things) the current US doping scandal. To read the full inditement is really shocking and I am more than a little bit surprised by how little press coverage there is in our racing media.
I would imagine that most stake holders here will be more than just a bit smug about the state of the game in the USA, but you have to wonder if the same problems are or have been present in our own racing business.
One of the major performance enhancing drugs (PEDís) mentioned is currently manufactured in Australia and the web site of the company manufacturing it implies that they have distribution in all the major racing regions including UK, Ireland and France. In fact you can order product on line today.
It would appear that the Australian company was at one time loosely associated with the US companies mentioned in the Inditement but they appear to have Ďfallen outí with each other and now each tries to rubbish the others product as potentially contaminated or less pure than their own.
What always amazes me is that of course just about everyone in the business knew that certain trainers were at it, but the authorities just never seem to arrive at the same conclusion until years after. It was the same with the Godolphin case here a few years ago apparently the BHA who claim to have all sorts of Ďintelligenceí and insider information, were the last to know.
I have mentioned it before but there were a couple of cases of horses from one particular trainer in Newmarket testing positive for cocaine (it happened more than once), and the enquiry concluded that they could find no explanation of how these horses may have come into contact with cocaine. I would imagine that everyone loosely involved with racing in Newmarket will have known that the trainer had and probably still has a habit but the BHA did nothing about it. You wonder just how well they pay for their 'intelligence' and inside information.
It makes you wonder just how complicit the BHA might have been in the Godolphin case and poses the question about this latest scandal. Is it or has it been going on here too, in my dreadfully cynical little world it is would be implausible to suggest that it hasnít. Could there be a link to racing in the UAE? Some of these PEDís are also used in camel racing, and we can all remember the recent death (heart attack?) of a top class US sprinter in Dubai who was trained by one of the trainers named in the US investigation.
Incidentally the trainers involved in this latest scandal were also active at the track in the US which recorded a disproportionate number of equine fatalities.
There is a perfect opportunity for the BHA to be transparent about all aspects of this shocking activity, after all they have very little else to do right now, but I donít expect to hear anything much being mentioned about it anytime soon. They want to believe it is a problem in the USA wishing it, doesnít make it so.
I would expect a strong initiative to take drug testing in racing away from the authorities in the USA and place the processes with a fully independent body, and it may be in the long term interests of the integrity of racing to follow suit here in the UK.
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