Notice regarding positive samples for morphine

17 Jul 2014 Integrity

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has been notified by LGC analytical laboratory (formerly HFL Sport Science) that a number of post-race samples obtained from recent race meetings have been found, upon analysis of the ‘A’ samples, to have present in them morphine, a prohibited substance on raceday under the Rules. BHA have received certificates of analysis to this effect.

In total five horses under the care of various trainers have so far been reported to show the presence of morphine in their ‘A’ samples. BHA will not make public any information regarding the identity of the horses, trainers or owners, the races they competed in or the dates on which the samples were taken until all necessary processes – including counter analysis of respective ‘B’ samples if requested by those connected with any of the horses, and our own investigations – are completed.

BHA are investigating whether – owing to the cluster of the cases and the substance involved – there may be any link between the cases and, if so, what that link might be. Owing to the shared characteristics of these cases it is not possible to rule out the reporting of further positive detections from post-race samples obtained in recent weeks. BHA have been in communication with the National Trainers Federation (NTF) and trainers of the horses in question on this matter.

Once all processes have been completed the cases will be put before a Disciplinary Panel who will decide what action, if any, should be taken. This may include the disqualification of the horses in question from the relevant races.


Notes to editors:

1. Morphine is a substance which is permitted for use in-training but prohibited on raceday.

2. BHA cannot provide any further comment or information on this issue at present and until all necessary processes and investigations are completed.

3. LGC is a BHA approved testing laboratory which was formerly known as HFL Sport Science. More information about LGC can be found here: