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Mr. S.J.P. Baragry (Rider) Banned substance Referral – Golden Vale (F) Turtulla Point to Point 20th November 2022

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Justice Tony Hunt (in the chair), Mr. Nick Wachman and Mr. Laurence McFerran convened in the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Monday, 9th January 2023 to consider a report from Laboratori Antidopatge de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, that a urine sample taken from Mr. S.J.P. Baragry (Rider) during in-competition testing at the Golden Vale (F) Turtulla Point to Point fixture on 20th November 2022 was found to contain Benzoylecgonine (metabolite of cocaine).

Under the Rules of Racing and Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Rules, benzoylecgonine is a banned substance because it acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system with addictive and hallucinogenic properties. It is prohibited in-competition pursuant to the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List International Standard as adopted by the IHRB.

Mr. Baragry did not request the ‘B’ sample to be analysed.

Evidence was heard from Mr. Baragry, Mr. David P. Murphy (Handler) and Dr. Jennifer Pugh (IHRB Senior Medical Officer).

In his evidence, Mr. Baragry accepted full responsibility for his actions and expressed his regret on the negative impact this finding has on his family, friends and the wider horseracing industry.

In his evidence, Mr. Murphy stated that he was disappointed and surprised with the finding as Mr. Baragry had been someone he had worked with for some time. He stated that he will continue to employ Mr. Baragry.

In her evidence, Dr. Pugh explained that Mr. Baragry had not previously come to her attention for any banned substances and outlined her discussions with Mr. Pat Brennan, counsellor, relating to Mr. Baragry.

Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee accepted the guilty plea and confirmed the breach of Rule 277(i). The decision read out by Mr. Justice Tony Hunt on behalf of the panel is set out below

“The sanction to be imposed will be a suspension of Mr. Baragry’s Qualified Rider Permit for a period of four years effective from 5thDecember 2022. On notification of the finding, Mr. Baragry voluntarily stood himself down from riding from this date and has approached the matter in the correct way since then by accepting responsibility and engaging with Dr. Pugh. Having considered the evidence put to this panel today, we propose to permit Mr. Baragry to reapply for a Qualified Rider Permit from 5th December 2023, subject to a hearing prior to that day which confirms full engagement with any random testing or requirements that will set out by Dr. Pugh and the IHRB in the meantime.”

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