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Adrian Joyce (Trainer), Prohibited Substance Referral – Navan, 14th July, 2018

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Nicholas Wachman (in the chair), Mr. Robert Dore and Mr. John Murphy met at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Thursday 11th October 2018, to consider reports from LGC Laboratories, Cambridgeshire, UK, that the Sample taken from Coach Bombay following its win in the Come Racing September 8th Handicap at Navan on 14th July, 2018, was found to contain fluticasone. Under Rule 20(v) of the Rules of Racing, fluticasone is a prohibited substance.

Trainer Mr. Joyce accepted that analysis of the “A” portion was positive for fluticasone and did not request the analysis of the “B” portion of the sample.

Evidence was heard from Dr. Lynn Hillyer, IHRB Chief Veterinary Officer/Head of Anti-Doping regarding the investigation into the adverse analytical finding,

In her evidence Dr. Hillyer advised that fluticasone is a synthetic glucocorticoid widely administered in equine practice to horses to treat inflammatory airway disease or ‘equine asthma’. It is administered either by Metered Dose Inhaler or more usually nebulisation using a special mask which exposes the horse to a ‘mist’ of the drug which it breathes in and out during treatment. She noted that due to the variance in absorption of dose by the horse there have been difficulties in establishing a reliable Detection Time for the drug however she was aware anecdotally that a withdrawal period of between 3 and 7 days was observed in the UK and Ireland. Fluticasone is a powerful corticosteroid with significant effects at its site of action in the respiratory system.  It is very important for the welfare of the individual animal that it does not race under the effects of medication.

She noted that during the investigation Mr. Joyce advised that the horse had been receiving Flixotide®, which contains fluticasone until the 11th July 2018 and this was identified as the source of the adverse analytical result.  

In his evidence Mr. Joyce stated that his veterinary surgeon had prescribed Flixotide® due to a ‘dirty scope’. and that he had used this medication previously for other horses with a 72 hour withdrawal period prior to racing. Photographs of his Medicines Register showing the administration of Flixotide® were also submitted.   

Having considered the evidence the Committee were satisfied that Mr. Joyce was in breach of Rule 96(a). The Committee therefore disqualified Coach Bombay, ordered that the stake be forfeited and that the race result be amended to read as follows:-

First:                Rince Deireanach (IRE)

Second:           Society Ranger (IRE)

Third:               Pushaq (IRE)

Fourth:             Lady de Vesci (IRE)

Fifth:                Liars Corner (IRE)       

In considering the penalty, the Committee imposed a fine of €1,000 but waived it as they found Mr. Joyce had taken reasonable precautions to avoid a breach of the rule. They strongly advised Mr. Joyce to ensure that his Medicines Register is updated on a regular basis.

Mr. Joyce was represented by Mr. Andrew Coonan of Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Wolfe Tone House, Naas Town Centre, Naas, Co. Kildare.

The case was presented by Ms. Cliodhna Guy, Head of Legal & Compliance & Licensing.

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