IHRB respond to Jim Bolger's a...


IHRB respond to Jim Bolger's allegations of doping in Irish racing

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The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) insists they have a "zero-tolerance" approach to doping in the sport.

They've responded to claims made by trainer Jim Bolger in an interview published by the Sunday Independent.

Bolger said "there will be a Lance Armstrong in Irish racing", in reference to the American cyclist who was stripped of his seven Tour de France win after he admitted to doping.

In a statement, the IHRB says they utilise "highest level using LGC Laboratories in Newmarket" in their battle against doping in racing.

Doping waters have been muddied in recent years. A US investigation into doping in racing revealed the use of a masking agent nicknamed 'The Devil', which could be used to disguise drugs taken by either a jockey or a horse.

"You put it in the horse, you can use coke: it will come back negative", said one of the defendants in that investigation, Sarah Izhaki.

In their statement, the IHRB say they "will continue our extensive testing programme with 5,000 samples in 2021, once again including every race winner, additional raceday samples, out of competition samples and now also at unlicenced premises following on from the receipt of Authorised Officer status for 12 employees of the IHRB last month which allows us to access and sample any thoroughbred at any time in Ireland.

"Each and every one of the samples taken are sent to LGC for analysis and any sample that returns an adverse analytical finding is acted upon, and details published, following our disciplinary process.

"LGC have been world leaders in anabolic steroid detection for over 60 years and most recently have led detection of these drugs in hair."

Denis Egan, CEO of the IHRB said, “There is no room for complacency when it comes to equine anti-doping.

"The IHRB have shown that by significant increases in testing over the last number of years, and through collaboration with LGC we have been able to take advantage of the science available.

"Our focus is on risk based and intelligence led strategy which directs us to get the right sample from the right horse at the right time.

"The appointment of IHRB officials as Authorised Officers further strengthens that.”

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