Dope testers swoop on top trainers

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  • Jockey Club officials investigating racehorse doping visit the stables of leading national hunt trainers

    Martin Pipe is among five top trainers who received surprise visits yesterday (26 February) from Jockey Club security and veterinary officials, who took blood samples from some 350 horses.

    Paul Nicholls, Venetia Williams and Lenny Lungo’s stables have also had surprise visits.

    It is the first time unannounced testsin training have been carried out in Britain. Such tests are already commonplace in France, Ireland, Germany and Italy.

    Jockey Club veterinary director Peter Webbon said: “I anticipate the findings will back up our belief that drug abuse in horseracing is at a minimal level. I would like to thank the stables and staff; the operations went very smoothly.”

    Jockey Club director of public affairs John Maxse said: “We hope this will be a positive thing for racing. The yards were chosen for a variety of reasons; the bigger ones enabled us to get a wider sample.”


    All the horses tested in the unannounced dawn raids on five racing stables on Tuesday are in theclear.

    Samples were taken from 408 horses trained by Martin Pipe, Paul Nicholls, Venetia Williams, Lennie Lungo and Alan Jones and were tested for the drug EPO(erythropoietin) and every one showed negative. The results of the tests were announced today.

    Peter Webbon, the Jockey Club’s veterinary director, said: “This was an exercise to deal with the well publicised allegations of the use of EPO. I hope these results will serve to reassure the racing public.”

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