Irish Laurels champion greyhound Clonbrien Hero has tested positive for cocaine

The Irish Laurels champion greyhound Clonbrien Hero has failed three drugs tests for benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite of cocaine, writes Stephen Barry.

The dog, trained by Graham Holland, tested positive for the prohibited substance on three occasions, June 24, July 1 and July 22, at Curraheen Park Greyhound Stadium in Cork

The latter failed test was at the Laurels final, which Clonbrien Hero won in 28 seconds, three lengths clear of the runner-up. The prize for that victory was €30,000.

Clonbrien Hero (2) leading at the last bend and going on to win Heat 1 Round 2 of the Irish Laurels at Curraheen Park on July 1. Picture: Mike English

Benzoylecgonine is the compound tested for to detect cocaine use, and the case has been referred to the Irish Greyhound Board Control Committee.

Clonbrien Hero was also entered in the ongoing Irish Greyhound Derby, which was won last year by the Holland-trained Rural Hawaii.

Holland was in the news last December when his dog, Clares Rocket, was abducted from his kennels in Golden, Tipperary. The dog was subsequently recovered.

“The Irish Greyhound Board, as part of its robust testing regime, publishes any adverse findings as they arise,” said an Irish Greyhound Board statement.

“Adverse analytical findings are reported by IGB to the Control Committee pursuant to the Greyhound Industry (Racing) Regulations with a request for the Control Committee to investigate the matter as provided for in legislation.

“IGB does not comment on individual cases which have been referred to the Control Committee and which may proceed to investigation. Decisions of the Control Committee may also be appealed.

“As part of its commitment to greater transparency in the area of anti-doping and medication control, IGB introduced secondary legislation in 2015 to provide for the publication of all adverse analytical findings in greyhound samples and to ensure the publication of the outcome from all cases before the Control Committee.

“Additionally in 2016, the Board introduced secondary legislation to provide for record keeping in relation to the use of medicines and the treatment of greyhounds, as well as powers to implement the off-track sampling of greyhounds for prohibited substances (whether in training or otherwise).”

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