Racehorses are failing drugs tests because their grooms are peeing in stables

first_imgDean Ivory at Goodwood “It’s cost me dearly,” he said.“Let’s hope something can be learned from this.” Dean Ivory’s fortunes improved at Goodwood, winning the showpiece Qatar Stewards’ CupCredit:Dan Abraham I’m very embarrassed that a member of staff has urinated in the stableDean Ivory, trainer “I had no idea you could get cross-contamination like that,” Ivory told the Racing Post. “I’m guilty because I’m responsible for my staff, but if I was more aware I could have made my staff more aware.“This could happen to other trainers.”Ivory, who has since updated his yard’s health and safety policy to explicitly ban urinating in the stables, said he suspected the practice was going on at other establishments and in stables at racecourses.The trainer was fined a total of £1,500 by the BHA for not taking all reasonable precautions to prevent contamination in the case of Wotadoll, and following a failed drug test by another of his horses, Links Lady Drive, after she won a race at Windsor in June last year.In that case, traces of the antihistamine cetirizine were found, which were traced to both a stable girl and the horse’s jockey, who were both on the medication.There is no suggestion, however, that Links Lady Drive, whose win was subsequently quashed, was contaminated through urine.The trainer revealed he had reimbursed the horse’s owners for their loss of earnings and waived a months’ training fees by way of apology.“I’m very embarrassed that a member of staff has urinated in the stable considering we’ve a new toilet block here,” said Ivory. Racehorses may be failing drugs tests because grooms taking painkillers and hay fever medications are urinating in their stables, a trainer has said.For months a cloud has hung over long-time Hertfordshire trainer Dean Ivory after two of his horses tested positive for banned substances in 2016.But a disciplinary panel has now concluded the drugs entered at least one of the animal’s systems via an innocent, if unsavoury route. An investigation was launched when traces of the analgesic O-desmethyltramadol were found in the system of then 2-year-old sprinter Wotadoll, after she came ninth in a race at Wolverhampton last November.A distraught Ivory, who has an unblemished record going back 16 years, was at a loss to explain the breach.However, the groom responsible for looking after the horse has since stepped forward to admit a habit of relieving himself in Wotadoll’s stable.The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) established that the staff member, Shane Cuddy, who is no longer employed at the yard, had been recovering from surgery in the lead-up to the race and had been taking the opioid painkiller tramadol, which metabolises into O-desmethyltramadol. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more