Greyhound enthusiasts around the country are becoming alarmed with the increasing number of positive findings of prohibited substances. There have been multiple cases of greyhounds testing positive for amphetamines, cocaine, stanozolol, corticosteroids and various prohibited pain killers in the last six months.

 

So what is the cause of the spike in positive tests results?

 

Following years of pressure from greyhound owners the IGB were compelled to purchase a new testing machine in 2017 costing €400,000 for its National Greyhound Laboratory. The IGB now has a huge problem as this machine has exposed a level of illegal drugs that IGB and The Chairman’s supporters claimed did not exist. The proliferation of drugs in the industry over the last 6 years has done enormous reputational damage and has rendered the racing product unsaleable. The IGB has also failed to put measures in place that guarantee the welfare of greyhounds.

 

Ger Dollard, the new CEO of the IGB, has just arrived on the job and immediately has to start firefighting, he can expect this to be a regular occurrence while he still has the three Skills Gap board members.

Mr Dollard performed admirably on the two interviews I heard on RTE although one thing he said was factually incorrect. The IGB has allowed dogs to continue running in spite of adverse findings.

Clonbrien Hero first tested positive on June 24 2017. He ran 7 more times before he was finally knocked out of third round of The Derby on September 2.

Mr Dollard needs to explain the delay.

 

Mr Dollard needs to be strong and resist any attempt by the Board to introduce thresholds for cocaine, amphetamines or stanozolol. This has been a standard ploy of the IGB to let offenders off the hook and has been backdated for special people.

 

Clonbrine Hero is likely to be a watershed event for the Irish Greyhound Industry. This adverse finding has now started a process in full public view, a process that will very quickly expose the inadequacies of the IGB Board and executive. Mr Holland may lose the internal control committee hearing but his legal team will be confident in heading to the civil courts with a copy of the Morris Report under their arm. The Morris Report exposed the IGB as a totally dysfunctional organisation, lacking independence and suffered from a “dearth of available expertise in anti-doping and medication control”.

 

Fine Gael Ministers have chosen to ignore the Morris Report and allow Phil to continue running amok, a high court judge will take closer interest and settling on the steps will not be an option this time.