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taken from the star .worth a read for irish

Shaun Gresham
United Kingdom
(Verified User)
Posts 5154
Dogs 29 / Races 0

13 Feb 2020 10:55


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Floyd
I have wanted to write a conclusion to the Clonbrien Hero story for some weeks, but bowed to the wishes of Graham and Nicky Holland who wanted the official announcement to come from IGB who produced a disciplinary committee statement this week.

It was two years and eight months ago that Graham Holland’s dog “showed an analytic finding” for the metabolites of cocaine, in the first round of the 2017 Irish Laurels.

I have previously written about the efficacy of cocaine. How long it is effective for, and how long a body takes to produce metabolites.

Unfortunately, there will always be a lot of variables which means it is impossible to say definitively, ‘it is effective for less than two hours’ and ‘it takes upwards of four hours for the body to produce metabolites’.

They might be ‘rounded up figures’ which can be countered with ‘it depends on the individual, on what else they have taken, etc etc’, but it isn’t a bad guide. I would defy anyone to show that cocaine is active after four hours, or that metabolites can be produced in less than three hours.

So let’s get the first thing out of the way. The analytical finding are surely bullet proof!

Clonbrien Hero produced three tests showing infinitesimal levels of a cocaine metabolite – averaging less than one part per billion at Newmarket Horseracing Forensic Laboratory – the number one analytic lab in the world.

How much more precise do you want to be?

The levels were so low that nobody could claim that they could affect performance and could only be present as evidence of contamination – as was eventually acknowledged by the IGB finding.

For most people, justice was finally done, though inevitably there are twisted begrudgers and internet conspiracy theorists who have Graham Holland as some kind of pharmaceutical genius who developed a masking agent to try to cover up his crime.

Trust me – he might be a superb greyhound trainer, and an old friend, but he is no genius.

No only would he have not got caught three times, but he would currently be working for the Russian Athletics Federation who have failed miserably in their attempts at drug cloaking.

I would also question any genius who would ‘dope’ the ante post favourite to win his first round heat of the Laurels when the first four home would all qualify anyway.

Oh yeah – and he got beat! Go to the back of the genius class – loser!

There are so many holes in the whole conspiracy theory. The negative test results between the three positives? And exactly how would you dope a greyhound to produce a finding of less than a part per billion? A very very small spoon?

But I would have a few questions of my own.

Did the dog test positive before and after the Laurels final? Why was he even running in the final if he tested positive in the first round?

Why would the IGB try to make a scapegoat of the industry’s leading trainer on the basis of such flimsy untested evidence?

My personal view is that they were trying to impress SIS with whom they were looking to do a deal for races to the UK betting shops. Look! We are SERIOUS on drugs.

But the emotional damage and stress to the Holland household has been immense. They were labeled across the Irish media, and in the UK racing press, as doping cheats. They weren’t the only costs.

In an attempt to clear their name, the Hollands sought a judicial review case in the High Court. They brought it because the IGB had refused to divulge the levels with which they were being charged. In the UK, that would itself invalidate the case being ‘contrary to natural justice’

As the case was heard, it emerged that Holland’s legal team had been given the info a few days earlier. Net cost around €40K.

There is so much more that the Holland’s have asked me not to rake up. But you can work it out yourself, this stuff is all in the public domain. The problems were never in the testing but in the handling of the case by the Irish Greyhound Board.

I also wrote recently about the increased understanding of GBGB into drug levels, based on shared intelligence with the Victorian racing authorities and in which the Irish Greyhound Board are now engaged.

Hopefully that more enlightened and educated thinking will permeate through to less bizarre decision making. I have no doubt that given greater understanding, the IGB would no longer act on such a minute trace of this particular banned substance, which is now acknowledged as a widespread issue within society on both sides of the Irish Sea.

In fact, but for one high placed individual within the Board, who could see the bigger picture, this could have got so much worse.

I would not have been so forgiving. I would have appointed Dublin’s biggest firm of ‘claim solicitors’ on a ‘no foal, no fee’ basis and taken the IGB for hundreds of thousands of Euros.

Instead the Hollands just want to get on with their lives.

As for owner Kay Murphy and her brilliant hound, how badly were they treated? In 2017 Clonbrien Hero won the Irish Laurels, St Leger (when he was drug tested seven times in 10 days) and the Night of Stars 550.

Did the IGB constructed cloud cost him the Greyhound of the Year title and possibly a significant stud career?

It is a sick and sorry tale from which the IGB emerges – after dragging the whole thing out for two and a half years – with zero credit.




Clive Padwick
Ireland
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Posts 97
Dogs 0 / Races 0

13 Feb 2020 11:59


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I agree that the IGB handled the case with it's usual level of incompetence but it doesn't change the fact that only Graham's dog showed any trace of cocaine and the expert's findings were not challenged in court. Unfortunately there will always be doubts about the verdict in this case.


Shaun Gresham
United Kingdom
(Verified User)
Posts 5154
Dogs 29 / Races 0

13 Feb 2020 14:05


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Clive Padwick wrote:

I agree that the IGB handled the case with it's usual level of incompetence but it doesn't change the fact that only Graham's dog showed any trace of cocaine and the expert's findings were not challenged in court. Unfortunately there will always be doubts about the verdict in this case.


how can there be any doubt ,igb deemed it as no case to answer surely its finished with .i told you and the rest months ago this would be the result but you and many others made it a witch hunt .its a fact that this verdict has altered the way igb will deal with nonsense findings.the only ones doubting it are the ones who slated him from word go .turns out you were all wrong ,atleast no one will be treated this way going forward which can only be a good thing .i question whether it would have been done this way if he was irish but thats another story .no doubt you and the rest of the begrudgers wont change your opinion on it cos thats just the way you are .he,s the best trainer there is and probably ever will be he should be applauded for sticking to his guns and not rolling over and taking it .hope he wins another derby this year im sure he will to


Dave Cunningham
Ireland
(Verified User)
Posts 2071
Dogs 0 / Races 0

13 Feb 2020 20:00


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This whole saga has caused many people to leave greyhound racing, they no longer have any faith in the attitudes of those incompetent members of the so called IGB and after this ridicules events more will be leaving.
Quote
how can there be any doubt ,igb deemed it as no case to answer surely its finished.
Sad but true
Surely its finished is right, its well and truly FINISHED NOW.



Tony Gallagher
Australia
(Team Member)
Posts 5029
Dogs 11904 / Races 40188

13 Feb 2020 22:30


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My post is not referring to any particular case but is a general observation.

The problem is the system.

Firstly when a trainer/owners dog is tested and a positive comes back it is published and available in the media. This then leaves the owner/trainer to be accused of all sorts of things putting stress on him/her and their family and friends.

Finally a hearing takes place and if the trainer is found not guilty it opens a can of worms. Those that have already made up their minds and expressed their views in social media will think there is a cover up and those that thought the whole time the trainer/owner was innocent have been involved in arguments with those believing the person was guilty.

Also any that published their views of guilt have put themselves in a position where they may be taken to court.

The test results should not be published before the hearing.

The system needs to change so that the case is heard within a month of the test results. The results of the hearing should then be published stating the facts of what was found in the test and if the trainer is guilty or not guilty.




Shaun Gresham
United Kingdom
(Verified User)
Posts 5154
Dogs 29 / Races 0

14 Feb 2020 11:59


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agree tony gallagher


Dave Cunningham
Ireland
(Verified User)
Posts 2071
Dogs 0 / Races 0

14 Feb 2020 13:34


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Quote
The system needs to change so that the case is heard within a month of the test results. The results of the hearing should then be published stating the facts of what was found in the test and if the trainer is guilty or not guilty.

100% correct Tony, now would you please tell this to the incompetent IGB on our behalf.


Yvonne Harrington
Ireland
(Verified User)
Posts 1919
Dogs 40 / Races 0

14 Feb 2020 22:15


 (1)
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Tony Gallagher wrote:

My post is not referring to any particular case but is a general observation.

The problem is the system.

Firstly when a trainer/owners dog is tested and a positive comes back it is published and available in the media. This then leaves the owner/trainer to be accused of all sorts of things putting stress on him/her and their family and friends.

Finally a hearing takes place and if the trainer is found not guilty it opens a can of worms. Those that have already made up their minds and expressed their views in social media will think there is a cover up and those that thought the whole time the trainer/owner was innocent have been involved in arguments with those believing the person was guilty.

Also any that published their views of guilt have put themselves in a position where they may be taken to court.

The test results should not be published before the hearing.

The system needs to change so that the case is heard within a month of the test results. The results of the hearing should then be published stating the facts of what was found in the test and if the trainer is guilty or not guilty.

Is this what happens in Australia?



Edward (ted) Howard
Australia
(Verified User)
Posts 1022
Dogs 16 / Races 0

15 Feb 2020 01:18


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The system in Ireland confuses me as in Australia any positives are handled by the integrity units in each state.The integrity units are actually the racing stewards who hear the case after the second sample is tested and confirms the positive.The accused can have a legal represent them at the hearing but it is all done internally by the racing control body[stewards] who hand down the penalty if found guilty none of this IGB crap.The defendant can appeal and case is heard by the appeal tribunal. No government interference. If a positive is proven all stakemoney is forfeited and there is a zero tolerance on most drugs a dope is a dope.

posts 9