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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 October 2007, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Greyhounds 'doped with cocaine'
By Johnny Caldwell
BBC News

Greyhound race track
Other substances included were amphetamine or speed
Cocaine is being used by some Northern Ireland greyhound owners and trainers in a bid to win races, a report into doping in the sport has revealed.

Eight have been fined after their animals tested positive for banned substances including the Class A drug.

One Lisburn owner has had to surrender prize money and pay a 1,000 euros fine after his dog tested positive for cocaine following a race at Lifford.

Other substances included were amphetamine otherwise known as speed.

The report, which is the first from a new independent watchdog in the Republic, also documented one County Donegal greyhound enthusiast being fined after his animal was found with traces of herbal ecstasy in its system in April of this year.

More than half of all doping offences highlighted in the report were committed by people in Northern Ireland.

The Control Committee was set up earlier this year to investigate and take action against anyone found guilty of doping greyhounds.

'Tiny minority'

Londonderry greyhound enthusiast Cathal Curley said the figures represented "a tiny minority" of those involved in greyhound racing.

"People involved in the sport have no time for these people," Mr Curley said.

D.J. Histon, secretary of the committee and deputy CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board said he hoped the report's publication would "deter future would-be dopers" across the island of Ireland.

Mr Histon said that last year's positive detection rate from 5,500 samples worked out at 1%.

Greyhound enthusiast Cathal Curley speaks to BBC Newsline

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