Ivory horse fails dope test after embarrassing leak
Dean Ivory said on Monday that he had been left very embarrassed after a member of his staff was found to have caused one of his horses to fail a dope test by urinating in its stable.
The contrite trainer said he hoped others would learn from his experience after he had a winner disqualified and incurred £1,500 in fines after two cases in which contamination by prohibited substances were traced to medication his staff were taking.
In the first incident a groom, who had been prescribed the painkiller tramadol, admitted urinating in the box of Wotadoll, and in the second another of Ivory's team and jockey Jack Duern were believed to have been the source of the positive sample taken from Links Drive Lady after both admitted they were hayfever sufferers.
It has led to Ivory, who enjoyed big-race success with Lancelot Du Lac in the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood on Saturday, banning the substances from his yard and introducing a new code of conduct to prevent any repetition.
"I had no idea you could get cross-contamination like that," said Ivory. "I'm guilty because I'm responsible for my staff, but if I was more aware I could have made my staff more aware. This could happen to other trainers.
"I've had to lose a race, I've also been fined and it was very disappointing I had to wait 14 months for an outcome. I've reimbursed the owners for their loss of earnings. I've also given them a month's free training fees. It's cost me dearly, emotionally as well as financially."
Wotadoll is declared to run in the USPGA Golf At 188Bet Handicap at 7.15 at Yarmouth on Wednesday
Links Drive Lady tested positive for cetirizine, which is prohibited on a raceday, after winning at Windsor in June last year and during the investigation it emerged that both Alex Humphries, who looked after the filly, and Duern took medication to alleviate hayfever symptoms.
A BHA disciplinary panel accepted the filly had never been prescribed the drug and was contaminated accidentally, probably from coming into contact with the hands of Humphries and Duern.
During the investigation into the source of the positive test given by Wotadoll after finishing unplaced at Wolverhampton last November, groom and work-rider Shane Cuddy admitted he had been prescribed tramadol and while mucking out the horse would sometimes urinate in the stable. There was no other explanation for the possible source.
"I'm very embarrassed that a member of staff has urinated in the stable considering we've a new toilet block here," Ivory said. "The guy isn't with me any more but there's no excuse for urinating in the stables.
"I had no idea this was going on, but it's not just going on here, it's going on elsewhere and in racecourse stables. Let's hope something can be learned from this."
Ivory now requires staff to sign a register detailing any medication they are taking, encourages staff to wear gloves, and has appointed a retired police officer to help rewrite his health and safety policy.
In a separate case heard by the BHA disciplinary panel last week, trainer Eugene Stanford lost an appeal against a £650 fine imposed at Yarmouth in May for not giving his daughter, apprentice Lulu Stanford, instructions on the use of the whip in a race in which she received a four-day ban.
Stanford argued that as she was an experienced claimer and had ridden The Happy Hammer seven times she did not need reminding of the whip rules, but the panel decided that as she had received bans in March and May for whip offences it should have been clear she needed specific instructions.
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