Racing: Doping case closes with fines

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AFTER AN investigation lasting almost two and a half years, the first - and last - penalties were handed down yesterday in the case of the Doncaster dopings.

Those responsible for administering a tranquilliser to three horses in September 1990 have never been caught. However, under the Jockey Club's rules it is a trainer's responsibility to ensure that prohibited substances are not administered to a horse by anyone, whether connected to the trainer or not. Barry Hills, trainer of Norwich and Flying Diva, and Dick Hern, whose Bravefoot was also got at, were fined pounds 400 and pounds 200 respectively, and unless any new information comes to light, the dopings investigation is now closed.

The Club's security department, responsible for all such investigations, announced a new recruit yesterday. Yvonne Stapleton, until recently the secretary of the Lady Jockeys' Association, is the first woman to be appointed to the team.

Another trainer before the Disciplinary Committee was Guy Harwood, whose three-year-old Alizari failed a dope test after finishing third at Warwick last July. The test was positive for flunixin, which derived from a preparation administered on veterinary advice, and Harwood was fined pounds 500 as a result.

Less controversial medication will be available to jump jockeys later this month. Two physiotherapists, Mary Bromiley and Grant Downie, will attend meetings to provide on the spot treatment for riders nursing knocks and bruises in a two-week pilot scheme organised by the Jockey Club.

The physios will operate together between 25 January and 30 January, and then split up the following week with Bromiley visiting tracks in the Midlands and South and Downie covering the North.

If the idea is judged to be a success, the Jockey Club will consider establishing and funding a national scheme.