Regarding the finding of the Disciplinary Panel that seven horses who were found to have tested positive for morphine and oripavine should be disqualified from their respective races, but no action be taken against the trainers involved, Jamie Stier, Director of Raceday Operations and Regulation for the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), said:
“It was BHA’s position in the hearing that the source of the positive samples for morphine and oripavine was a contaminated batch of feed and that in the circumstances the trainers took all reasonable precautions to avoid breaching the Rules of Racing. As such BHA submitted that no penalty should be imposed on the trainers, however, in accordance with the Rules of Racing, the horses involved should be disqualified from the relevant races. The Disciplinary Panel today agreed this position.
“The Rules are clear on the matter of disqualification. Once a horse has been found to have had a prohibited substance in its system on raceday then disqualification of the horse must be the result. The administration of the substance was accidental and no fault of those connected to the horse but, while it is unfortunate for those involved, no other approach would be acceptable when the cornerstone of our policy is ensuring a level playing field for all participants.
“Instances of feed batches becoming contaminated are, thankfully, very rare. It has been an unfortunate situation for those involved, especially the connections of all the horses affected. BHA has worked with the trainers and NTF throughout, as well as the feed manufacturers and their representative body the British Equine Trade Association (BETA) to control and manage the consequences of this contamination as best as possible.”