National hunt trainer banned for three years

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  • Irish racehorse trainer Philip Fenton has been banned from the sport for three years.

    Last month (23 October) he was found guilty of eight charges of possessing banned drugs — including two anabolic steroids.

    The trainer appeared in court in Co. Tipperary last month (23 October) and was fined a total of €6,000 plus €4,200 in costs.

    And at a hearing on Saturday (22 November) Mr Fenton was banned by the Irish Turf Club after he pleaded guilty to three charges, including bringing the sport into disrepute.

    His trainer’s licence will be suspended from Friday (28 November).

    However, the organisation will allow him to be an “attendee” at race meetings until 1 March to let him “wind down his business”.

    He has seven days to appeal.

    The drugs were seized from his Garryduff yard on 18 January 2012 by the Irish Department of Agriculture.

    During the case the court heard that officers found two anabolic steroids — a 1kg tub of Nitrotain (containing ethylestranol) and smaller amount of Ilium Stanabolic (containing stanozolol) — in a box under a horse rug near the medicines cabinet.

    Mr Fenton did not give evidence at the court. The charges were made in February this year, prior to the Cheltenham Festival, but the case was adjourned twice.

    The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) went to Ireland on 26 February to interview the trainer and test his horses, but on 5 March it was confirmed that the investigation “found no evidence that Fenton’s Cheltenham-entered horses had been administered with anabolic steroids” and the horses were cleared to run.

    The trainer has saddled many major winners including Dunguib in the 2009 Cheltenham bumper and Last Instalment in the 2014 Hennessey Gold Cup at Leopardstown.

    Last year Goldolphin trainer Mahmood al Zarooni was banned by the BHA for eight years, after he was found to have given anabolic steroids to racehorses at his yard.

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