Greyhound in running to be top dog despite failed drug tests

A champion greyhound, which failed three drugs tests last year, is in the running for the industry’s top dog award.

Clonbrien Hero has been shortlisted alongside Derby winner, Good News, and Jaytee Yankee, for the prestigious Dog of the Year title at the Irish Greyhound Board’s Annual Awards 2017.

It comes despite an ongoing disciplinary hearing process in relation to its failed drug tests.

The nominations are made by secret ballot of an independent 10-person panel of industry representatives.

It emerged last September that Clonbrien Hero had failed three drugs tests for benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite of cocaine, on June 24, July 1, and July 22, following testing at Curraheen Park Greyhound Stadium in Cork. The July 22 test took place after the dog won the Laurels.

The “adverse analytical findings” were referred to the Control Committee, which is independent of the IGB.

The dog was disqualified from racing and €30,000 prize money is being withheld pending the conclusion of the Control Committee’s disciplinary hearing process.

A sample taken from the dog later tested negative, clearing it to return to racing. It went on to win the 2017 Irish St Leger on November 4, scooping €25,000.

However, solicitors acting on behalf of the dog’s trainer secured a temporary High Court order before Christmas preventing a disciplinary hearing from proceeding. The process has yet to be concluded.

The IGB said no assumptions should be made until the Control Committee’s investigation is concluded.

“No assumptions should be made beyond the status of an adverse analytical finding,” a spokesman said.

“In accordance with regulations, any greyhound that returns an adverse finding is immediately disqualified from further racing or trialling until a further sample returns free from prohibited substances.

“This has been followed for every greyhound since 2015.”

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