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IHRB Announce Anti-Doping Seminars for Riders  


The IHRB today announced the holding of two Anti-Doping Seminars for riders.

 The Seminars will take place on:

Tuesday, 5th March 2019 at 7pm

In the Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge, Co Kildare


Wednesday, 20th March 2019 at 7pm

In the Horse and Jockey Hotel, Horse and Jockey, Co Tipperary

 The Seminars will cover:

  • The testing process
  • What is a banned substance and what a rider needs to declare
  • History of testing in Ireland
  • The disciplinary hearing / implications of a positive test
  • Supports available – medical/addiction/Industry Assistance Programme

 Attendance at one of the seminars, is mandatory for Apprentice Riders and Claiming/Conditional Riders.  Qualified Riders and Professional Riders are strongly encouraged to attend.

Commenting on the holding of the seminars, IHRB Chief Executive, Denis Egan, said that “in view of the number of positive test results which are increasing year on year, the IHRB is holding seminars to educate riders as it appears that many of them are not familiar with the rules and the implications of what will happen if they return a positive test. Under the new penalty structure, a positive test may in effect end a rider’s career”.

Denis Egan also said that “testing of riders for banned substances is being introduced at Point-to-Points in the next few weeks and this will mean that many riders who do not regularly ride on the racecourse, are likely to be tested so it is important that Qualified Riders attend one of the seminars.”

Editors’ Note

1.  The Referrals Committee issued the following statement after the last hearing on 10th January 2019.

“This is the second time in the past 14 months where we had to deal with the referral of three riders on the same day who tested positive for banned substances. In 2018 there were 5 positive tests for cocaine which is the highest number in any one year since testing started. This is unacceptable for racing.

To date we have tried to impose punishments with an encouragement to undertake rehabilitation and we will continue to do this where we feel it is appropriate. It is gratifying that this has worked in individual cases but it is clear that the deterrent effect of the penalties imposed to date is insufficient to prevent the recurrence of positive tests. Consequently, the future starting point for penalties for similar offences will be a 5 year ban. It is not necessarily the case that such a ban will always be partly suspended, but this will remain an option where the evidence is such that rehabilitation should be encouraged on the facts of the individual case. Riders can expect to serve at least a period of 18 months of such a ban before re-application will be permitted, save in very exceptional personal circumstances.

We reiterate that there is support available for any rider who needs it and they can contact the Senior IHRB Medical Officer, Dr Jennifer Pugh in the strictest of confidence if help is needed and we would strongly encourage them to do so. We emphasise that unusual matters such as an unexplained illness after a night out should be a matter of particular concern to a licensed jockey”.

2.  The Seminars are supported by the Irish Jockeys Association.


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