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Shane Brian Kelly (Rider) – Banned Substance Leopardstown, 13th August 2015


The Referrals Committee, N.B. Wachman (in the Chair), Philip McLernon and Robert Dore met in the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Tuesday, 10th November 2015 to consider a report from IMIM Hospitaldelmar in Barcelona, Spain regarding the fact that a sample of urine taken from Shane Brian Kelly, rider, during in-competition testing on 13th August 2015 at Leopardstown Racecourse, Co Dublin, was found to contain benzoylecgonine and ecgonine methyl esther (metabolites of cocaine). Under the Rules of Racing and Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Rules, cocaine is a banned substance because it acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system with addictive and hallucinogenic properties and is prohibited in-competition pursuant to the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List International Standard as adopted by the Turf Club. Shane Brian Kelly requested that the ‘B’ sample also be analysed. The analysis of the ‘B’ sample was carried out on 14th October 2015 and it confirmed the results of the ‘A’ sample.

Evidence was heard from Dr Thomas Barragry, Pharmacologist, Dr Adrian McGoldrick, Senior Turf Club Medical Officer, Michael O’Callaghan (Shane Brian Kelly’s Master) and Shane Brian Kelly. The Committee also considered a written character reference for Mr Kelly from Ruaidhri Tierney, Authorised Riders Agent.

In his evidence Dr Thomas Barragry said that cocaine is a naturally occurring substance. It is a stimulant which suppresses appetite and releases adrenalin. He said that an overdose of cocaine can lead to a brain hemorrhage or a heart attack. It is hallucinogenic and addictive. It can lead to an artificial sense of euphoria and can affect riding ability.

In his evidence Dr Adrian McGoldrick updated the committee on discussions he had with Mr Kelly on the sample result.

In his evidence Michael O’Callaghan said Shane Brian Kelly had been working for him for the past year and was a huge part of his operation. He said he was a hard worker and very reliable.

In his evidence Shane Brian Kelly accepted the findings and agreed that he was in breach of the rule.

Having considered the evidence the Referrals Committee found that Shane Brian Kelly was in breach of Rule 277 and imposed a two year suspension on him holding a license with effect from 24th November 2015. However, they suspended the last year of the penalty on condition that the balance thereof could be activated immediately by any Referrals Committee which found at any future time that Mr Kelly had committed a further doping offence during the period of suspension, together with such further penalty in respect of the future offence as might be appropriate. They further ordered that Shane Brian Kelly submits to a program of random drug testing for the next two years, at the direction and discretion of the Turf Club Medical Officer.
In light of Mr Kelly’s circumstances, the manner in which he had met the case and the imposition of a period of suspension, the Committee did not order him to pay any costs.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Solicitor, Naas, Co. Kildare. Shane Kelly was represented by Andrew Coonan, Coonan Cawley, Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare.

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