Marlborough trainer Richard Hannon fined £8,000 for fourth cross-contamination error
Flat trainer Richard Hannon has been fined £8,000 after De Bruyne Horse was found to carry traces of a banned substance connected to the human painkiller tramadol.
O-desmethyltramadol - which is created in the body when humans take tramadol - was found in a urine test after the horse won the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom. It was Hannon's fourth case and third fine involving the substance.
Hannon - who last summer has 253 horses in training near Marlborough - has taken steps to reduce the chance of cross-contamination. The British Horseracing Authority's (BHA) disciplinary panel was critical of Hannon and expressed 'serious concerns'.
In a similar recent case involving trainer Philip Hobbs and the horse Keep Moving, the BHA found Hobbs had taken sufficient care - and he escaped a fine.
Earlier this year when another trainer, Dean Ivory, was before a BHA hearing, it was discovered that a trace of O-desmethyltramadol came from a stable lad urinating in a stable. He had been taking tramadol following surgery.
Such cross-contamination involving banned substances is now easier to spot in tests than to prevent. Richard Hannon has introduced clock-in and clock-out systems for staff, put hand sanitisers throughout the yard and is getting horses randomly checked by independent vets.
It may, marlboroughequestrian.news has been told, become necessary for trainers to insist their staff log their medical treatments. But that involves negotiating highly sensitive and tricky privacy principles.