I’m just relieved it’s all over. This is something which happened three years ago and I’m glad it’s been brought to a close” insisted trainer Adrian McGuinness who has been given a suspended two-year disqualification by the Turf Club in the following his court appearance last year, on the grounds of possession of unauthorised animal remedies.
Co. Dublin based McGuinness was fined a substantial sum of E2,500 at Swords District Court in Dublin in February 2016 for possessing four animal remedies without authorisation and two remedies without a prescription from a veterinary surgeon.
The incident in question first occurred on June 4, 2017 following a routine visit by its officers to the yard in Lusk. The court had accepted a dispute that the offences were “at the lower end” of the scale.
Handler Aidan McGuinness, who was ordered to pay Turf Club costs of E1,000, stressed none of the medications were performance enhancing and said: “I just want to now carry on trying to train as many winners as possible.”
The Turf Club’s Referrals Committee forced the suspended ban on the condition McGuinness does not breach similar rules again, asking it to be noted “that if similar facts arise in the future, it is highly unlikely that a suspended penalty would arise.”
A statement has been given from the authorities “Having considered the submissions and the evidence, the Referrals Committee noted that Adrian McGuinness had accepted he was in breach of the relevant rules. They said that any penalty must be appropriate for the offence taking into account the mitigating factors such as the way the defendant approached the matter and his personal circumstances.
“In relation to the offence itself, they felt that it was a middle range offence which would normally attract a licence suspension of two years. What occurred was damaging to the good reputation of racing as a licensed trainer had been convicted in the District Court with the resulting publicity.
“The committee noted that there has been a significant change in culture in the past three years about how trainers deal with medication. Regarding Mr McGuinness, the committee noted that the likely consequences of the loss of his licence would be catastrophic. They also noted that the substances found were not prohibited at all times substances, that Mr McGuinness had a clean record, that there was a guilty plea and that he offered certain information.”
They added in conversation: “Taking all the above into account, the committee imposed a penalty of a two-year suspension of Mr McGuinness’ licence which will not be activated provided Mr McGuinness does not breach comparable rules in the next two years.
“Mr McGuinness remorsefully accepted the penalty and agreed that the penalty can be imposed together with any other penalty which may apply for any new offence if he breaches similar rules within the relevant period.”