Top Racing Greyhound Tests Positive for Cocaine
Irish greyhound Clonbrien Hero is “suspended indefinitely” from racing after failing multiple drug tests, leaving his owner and trainer to answer for the breach.
The owner and trainer of a champion racing greyhound in Ireland have been unable to explain why the canine athlete has failed three drug tests for cocaine in the last year, the Washington Post has reported.
Clonbrien Hero—winner of the Irish Laurels final—is now seeing tens of thousands of dollars worth of prize money withheld after testing positive for cocaine on three occasions. Owner Kay Murphy and trainer Graham Holland say they are not responsible for the presence of the drug in the dog’s urine and feel “victimised” by the accusations that they plied him with an illegal substance.
Holland says that the cocaine could have come from contact with tainted cash.
“When a dog wins a race, people are walking up to the dog and patting it on the head. If they have cocaine on their hands, they can pass that to the dog, and it can come out in a urine sample,” he explained to the Times after the allegations surfaced.
However, experts say that it is unlikely that trace amounts of cocaine on Irish money would make it into the bloodstream—and bladder—of a dog.
“To me, this looks like race-fixing. There does seem to be a correlation between dogs testing positive and performance,” Carey Theil, director of racing watchdog group Grey2K USA Worldwide, told the Washington Post.
Despite the fact that there is no evidence that cocaine would improve a greyhound’s racing abilities—and could even have “adverse cardiovascular effects”—12 dogs tested positive for the substance at races in the US last year.
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