herald

Thursday 24 August 2017

Trainer's €6k fine for steroid use on horses

Philip Fenton pictured at Carrick on Suir District court.
Philip Fenton pictured at Carrick on Suir District court.

Trainer Philip Fenton faces an investigation by horse- racing's regulatory body after being found guilty of eight counts of possessing unlicensed animal remedies, including a "potent" anabolic steroid.

Philip Fenton (49), of Garryduff, South Lodge, Carrick-on-Suir, was fined €6,000 and told to pay €4,200 in costs and expenses when convicted yesterday in the district court. He had denied all charges.

He told the media after the hearing in Carrick that he will "consider" an appeal against the conviction.

The Turf Club's director of security Chris Gordon said the body will now "take appropriate steps" following the criminal trial which was mounted by the Department of Agriculture.

"There will be an investigation," Mr Gordon said, adding that Philip Fenton will be interviewed "as part of the investigation".

Department investigative officer Brendan Daly told Carrick district court that he and a colleague searched Mr Fenton's premises on January 18, 2012 and found a box "containing veterinary medicines" under a horse rug, in a "horse spa" close to Mr Fenton's medicine store.

They returned to the yard on February 14, 2012 and interviewed Mr Fenton who accepted responsibility for the products.

Among them was 1kg of Nitrotain paste and a 25ml bottle of Illium Stanabolic, both anabolic steroids, as well as a number of prescription-only antibiotics for which there were no prescriptions.

Mr Daly told the court that, after the inspection and a visit to Mr Fenton's vet's office, he stored the products in a "secure lock-up" at his home until they interviewed the trainer in February.

Defence barrister Johnny Walshe put it to Mr Daly that it was "totally unacceptable practice" that the items weren't labelled on the day by the inspectors but Mr Daly said he had "no doubt" about what was in the box found at the yard. "Mr Fenton was aware of what was seized on the day and he confirmed that in the interview."

hnews@herald.ie

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