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P
Pa
January 20, 2021

Charles Byrnes handed six-month suspension

Sports

P
Pa
January 20, 2021

LONDON: Trainer Charles Byrnes has had his licence suspended for six months by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board after one of his horses tested positive for a banned substance.

The Byrnes-trained Viking Hoard was pulled up at Tramore on October 18, 2018, after which a urine sample was found to contain hydroxyethylpromazinehydroxide (HEPS), a metabolite of acepromazine (ACP), which is a sedative. ACP is a prohibited drug under the rules of racing – and following Byrnes’ request to test a B sample, the finding was confirmed.

Evidence was heard from various officials and Byrnes himself, who “taking into account the gravity of what occurred” was fined 1,000 euros alongside his six-month ban.

However, the IHRB added it had “been advised that the trainer will be lodging an appeal against this decision”.

The IHRB Referrals Commmittee hearing was held via Zoom on January 7, with the authority informing Byrnes of its decision on Monday before issuing a 14-page written judgement to support its conclusions. Evidence was heard from Dr Lynn Hillyer, IHRB chief veterinary officer and head of anti-doping, Declan Buckley, IHRB deputy head of Security, Byrnes and Vincent O’Connor, veterinary surgeon. The Referrals Committee decided “the evidence showed that Viking Hoard was subject to a dangerous degree of sedation during the race, and the committee came to the conclusion the horse had been “nobbled” by an unidentified third party when left unaccompanied.