Horse racing trainer Philip Fenton has been disqualified from holding a licence for three years following an Irish Turf Club hearing at the weekend.
Fenton was called before officials after being found guilty at a district court hearing last month of possessing anabolic steroids and other banned substances.
A cardboard box packed with 25 bottles and containers of animal remedies was found hidden in a horse spa in his yard in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, during a search by Department of Agriculture officials in January 2012.
Among them was 1kg of the anabolic steroid Nitrotain in a paste form in a black tub — enough for 250 doses — and a 20ml bottle of a second performance-enhancing drug, Ilium Stanabolic.
Fenton, aged 49, of Garryduff, South Lodge, Carrick, had been fined €6,000 and ordered to pay €4,200 last month after being found guilty on eight counts of possessing unlicensed animal remedies, including a “potent” anabolic steroid. He had denied all charges.
The Cheltenham Festival-winning trainer did not give evidence in the one-day hearing in Carrick-on-Suir District Court and refused to explain afterwards why he had the steroids in his yard.
Fenton’s disqualification period from training horses begins at 12am this Friday. On March 1 next year, he will be disqualified entirely from any horse racing environment.
Fenton’s solicitor pleaded for a financial punishment, rather than disqualification, but an Irish Turf Club panel felt the severity of the offence was of sufficient gravity to hand out a three-year suspension.
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