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Pat Doyle (Trainer) Prohibited Substance Referral – Kilbeggan 1st August 2020

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Peter M. Allen, (in the chair), Mr. Finbar Cahill and Mr. Peter N. Reynolds convened via Zoom on Wednesday, 25th November 2020 to consider whether or not Pat Doyle (Trainer) was in breach of any rules as a result of a report received from LGC Laboratories, Fordham, UK.

The report stated that the urine sample taken from Granny Lowrie, following her win in the Tom McCormack Memorial Mares Maiden Hurdle at Kilbeggan on 1st August 2020, was found to contain flunixin and hydrochlorothiazide. Under Rule 20(v) and Regulation R14 of the Rules of Racing and Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Rules flunixin and hydrochlorothiazide are prohibited substances.

The trainer declined the option to have the B sample analysed.

Evidence was heard from Dr. Lynn Hillyer, IHRB Chief Veterinary Officer and Head of Anti-Doping and Mr. Doyle.

In her evidence, Dr Hillyer summarised the investigation into the adverse analytical finding. She confirmed that flunixinis a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug commonly used in equine practice and hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic. Mr. Doyle had reported to her that Granny Lowrie had been treated with both medications for an abscess on her back. Veterinary certification recorded that flunixin and hydrochlorothiazide had been administered on 18th July, with further flunixin given on 24th July along with withdrawal time advice of nine days for the flunixin and eight days for the hydrochlorothiazide. Dr. Hillyer stated that the standard Detection Time for flunixin is six days but that neither Detection Times nor the screening limits with which they are associated can be applied when a mixture of medications or prohibited substances are present together. She explained that data provided by LGC Laboratories assessed in the context of published literature indicated that Granny Lowrie had either been exposed to hydrochlorothiazide at a later date than recorded by the attending veterinary surgeon or the withdrawal period advised was not long enough because of the mixture of drugs present. She concluded that this case demonstrates the care that must be taken to lengthen withdrawal periods when a mixture of medications are administered.

In his evidence, Mr. Doyle outlined his clean record in this regard over his 40 years within the industry and expressed the upset this had caused him. He stated that he informed his veterinary surgeon of the date on which he planned to run Granny Lowrie and had acted within the advice given to him regarding withdrawal times.

Having considered the evidence, the Committee were satisfied that Mr. Doyle was in breach of Rule 96(a) as a prohibited substance was present in the sample taken from Granny Lowrie following her win at Kilbeggan. They disqualified Granny Lowrie ordered that the stake be forfeited and amended the result to read as follows:

First:        Little Lady Lu

Second:   Will You Win

Third:       Infinite Glory

Fourth:    Layla’s Court 

Fifth:        Golden Apples  

Sixth:       Wavylake      

The Committee also imposed a €1,000 fine on Mr. Doyle, under Rule 96(a) as they were not satisfied that Mr. Doyle had taken all reasonable precautions to avoid a breach of this rule owing to the mixture of medication involved.

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


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