Johnny Ward: Hogan can continue promising career with reputation intact despite positive test

POSTED ON  |  07-09-2019

ASK ANYONE WHO follows Irish racing regularly about drugs and you’ll meet a similar refrain: plenty of trainers are getting away with it. We may not be at the septic levels of, say, cycling but there is absolutely no doubt but that trainers, desperate to gain an edge in a seriously tough environment, are seeking same and hoping not to be caught.

In 2014, trainer Philip Fenton was disqualified from holding a trainer’s licence for three years at a hearing of the Turf Club’s Referrals Committee. He had been found guilty in the district court of eight charges of possessing banned animal medicines, including anabolic steroids. Fenton served his time and has returned to training.

Around the same time, John Hughes, a retired vet, was banned from racing for five years and fined €4,500 after the Turf Club ‘clearly established’ that Hughes was in possession of 6kg of the powerful anabolic steroid Nitrotain when his home was raided by police and customs officials in February 2012. Nitrotain is fast-acting, builds muscle mass and improves a horse’s strength, stamina and general wellbeing. According to The Guardian, it is easily administered as an oral paste and excreted in no more than a few days, making it virtually impossible to detect in post-race tests.

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