Two years ago a racing greyhound owned by a syndicate which includes actor Vinnie Jones, tested positive for drugs. On friday (Oct 31st) the Irish Times reported that Jones and two other members of the syndicate have brought a High Court challenge to the proposed inquiry into the charge that their winning dog had tested positive for drugs in a race two years ago.

“The syndicate claims the inquiry, as proposed by the Irish Coursing Club (ICC), is unfair and breaches the club’s own rules as well as the rules of natural justice.

It has brought judicial review proceedings against the club over the inquiry initiated after its greyhound, Boavista, won the JP McManus Irish Cup course at Limerick trace track in February 2006. The inquiry has been deferred pending the outcome of the court action.

The case centres on a decision by the ICC to hold an inquiry into the alleged finding of amphetamine in Boavista after the 2006 race. As a result of a drug test on the dog, the €80,000 purse from the race was frozen although all winning bets were paid out.

The syndicate and Ms Curtin claim the ICC did not provide full disclosure of the allegations against them. They want a court order restraining the inquiry from taking place in the manner proposed. They claim the inquiry breaches natural justice and the ICC’s own rules.”

The ICC deny these claims and state that “The ICC denies the syndicate has not been afforded fair procedures. The syndicate was furnished with all documents, including the names of the stewards who witnessed the taking and certifying of the sample and the name of the veterinary surgeon who took the sample.”

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