Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Integrity Portal

Tom Joseph Kelly (Rider) – Application to review suspension

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Justice Tony Hunt (in the chair), Ms. Justice Leonie Reynolds and Mr. Anthony Byrne convened via Zoom on Thursday, 28th July 2022 to consider an application from Tom Kelly (Rider) to review the suspension imposed on him at a Referral Hearing on 13th December 2021.


At that hearing, the Referrals Committee found Mr. Kelly in breach of Rule 277(i) in that samples of urine taken from him during in competition testing at Killarney on 15th July 2021 was found to contain Benzoylecgonine (metabolite of cocaine). They imposed a penalty of four years suspension of his licence but the committee stated they would consider an application to suspend the penalty from 22nd August 2022 should Mr. Kelly comply with strict terms and conditions.


At the Referral Hearing to consider his application, evidence was heard from Mr. Kelly and correspondence from Dr. Jennifer Pugh (IHRB Senior Medical Officer) and Enda Bolger (Trainer) was also considered.


In his evidence, Mr. Kelly stated that he was wholly apologetic for his actions previously and that he had learned a costly lesson. He confirmed that he was in full time employment with Mr. Bolger and that he had always engaged fully with Dr. Pugh and had been subject to random testing on a number of occasions during his suspension.


Having considered the evidence, the panel decided to permit Mr. Kelly to apply for a new licence and advised the Licensing Committee that the panel had no objection to the grant of a new licence as and from the 22ndAugust 2022.  If granted, that new licence will be subject to a suspended penalty of three years for a period of three years.  In permitting Mr Kelly to apply for the issue of a new licence, the panel took account of the financial and other consequences of the suspension to date for Mr. Kelly, his positive attitude to work with Mr Bolger during his suspension, the continued support of Mr. Bolger in the event of the grant of a new licence, Mr Kelly’s positive engagement with Dr. Pugh and with Mr. Pat Brennan, Addiction Counsellor and his full compliance with the terms and conditions imposed by Dr. Pugh during his suspension to date.  The panel advised Mr. Kelly to grasp the opportunity to show that he had learned appropriate lessons from his suspension to date. The panel advised Mr. Kelly of the likely consequences of any repeat offending and requested the IHRB to set these out clearly in writing to Mr. Kelly.


The case was presented by Mr. Michael Daly, IHRB Regulatory Legal Advisor. Mr. Kelly was represented by Mr. Kevin Power of Maurice Power Solicitors, Kilmallock, County Limerick.

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