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[an error occurred while processing this directive] banner Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 16:00 GMT
Stables raided in dawn swoop
Trainer Martin Pipe at his Nicholashayne stables in Wellington, Somerset
Pipes' stables in Somerset were one of five visited
A series of swoops were carried out on racing stables around the country on Tuesday morning and tests taken from horses for doping analysis.

A total of five stables - including the yard of top trainer Martin Pipe - have been visited unannounced and blood or urine samples taken from what is believed to be several horses.

The Jockey Club, horse racing's governing body in the UK, will not say why the five stables were picked, but it hopes to have the results of the tests within a week.


Drug abuse within British racing is minimal
Peter Webbon, the Jockey Club's Veterinary Director

Peter Webbon, the Jockey Club's Veterinary Director, said in a statement: "As part of the Jockey Club's policy for testing horses in training, I can confirm that five trainer's yards were visited this morning and that approximately 350 blood samples were collected for testing.

"I fully anticipate that the findings from these tests will back up our belief that drug abuse within British racing is minimal.

"The operation went as smoothly as we could have hoped and I hope that disruption to their training programmes at this busy time was kept to a minimum."

The Jockey Club has carried out regular testing in training since 1998, but Tuesday's operation was the first time that unannounced testing has taken place in Britain.

There is no suggestion that any allegations have been received about Pipe or any of the other four National Hunt stables involved.

However, the Jockey Club's statement says that: "A trainer's yard is selected for testing either at random or on the basis of intelligence received."

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght
"The Jockey Club gave no warning of their arrival"
Jockey Club spokesman John Maxe
"A chance to show how clean British racing is"
Trainer Martin Pipe
"It was very upsetting for the staff"
Links to more Horse Racing stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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