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Sunday, 20 January, 2019

Leading jumps trainer Guy Cherel arrested after banned substances seized

Guy Cherel: leading French jumps trainer arrested on Monday
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Guy Cherel, a fixture in the annual list of the top five jump trainers in France, was arrested on Monday in connection with an investigation into the doping of racehorses. 

Officers from the gaming and racing division took the 58-year-old to a police station in Nanterre ahead of an expected appearance before a judge in Versailles on Tuesday afternoon. 

Cherel's longtime partner Isabelle Pacault issued a statement disputing several details contained in a first report to be published on the affair – including the location at which Cherel was arrested – which appeared on the website of Le Parisien on Monday evening.  

The paper outlined an investigation which began last year and cited raids on Cherel's training premises in Maisons-Laffitte and his breeding farm at Gavray in Normandy, with officers reportedly seizing a range of banned substances. 

Pacault said: "The inaccuracies which appeared in the article published by Le Parisien are shameful. The article had the sole ambition of smearing Guy Cherel, the horses, racing and sport in general. I will make no further comment."

Cherel's most recent stable star is Blue Dragon, the winner of eight graded hurdles at Auteuil, while the trainer has also guided the early careers of horses who went on to find success in Britain and Ireland such as Twinlight, Irish Saint, Calipto and Activial. 

Cherel has saddled 74 winners this year and his runners have earned more than €2 million in win and place prize-money, while his breeding operation has also recouped more than €300,000 in premiums.  

In October 2016 Cherel received a six-month ban – with three months suspended for five years – after Lachlan Bridge tested positive for the ulcer medication Ranitidine. 

Three possible runners at Auteuil on Tuesday were all withdrawn at the final declaration stage 48 hours earlier and Cherel has no declared runners at Clairefontaine on Wednesday. 

France Galop issued a brief statement to the effect it would offer no comment during an ongoing investigation.

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The article had the sole ambition of smearing Guy Cherel, the horses, racing and sport in general. I will make no further comment
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