A & E for 'dopey' handler


Irish Independent 16/11/04

Column: Dog Chat - John Martin c/o Greyhound Journalist


One of the country's already over-worked accident and emergency departments had a rather bizarre admission, this month, to again underline the extent of the doping problem faced by greyhound authority Bord na gCon.


A greyhound handler presented himself in considerable pain and was obliged to related an embarrassing tale to the doctor on duty. Before leaving for the track, the man had attempted to inject his dog at the kennel with a prohibited substance. Perhaps the greyhound had been through the experience before. The dog freaked and the owner managed to lodge the syringe in his own thigh.


While the circumstances here are extreme, there is no doubt that administration of dope is a regular feature of greyhound racing in Ireland. Not all handlers know what they are doing. Some give sedatives like largactyl to prevent greyhounds giving of their best. Others administer Viagra in the belief that will quicken the heart rate andpropel the dog from traps quicker than the opposition.


It is a dangerous business and not simply because it is cheating. The consequences can be far reaching. One Irish greyhound recording fast times in Britain is believed to have been injected with EPO which it wasnot possible to detect. The word is that the side effects were damaging to the extent the greyhound suffered horrific withdrawal when taken offthe drug.


The knock-on has been seen in poor performances at stud and this is a pretty unmistakable trend with greyhounds drugged during their racing careers.




The article relates to an incident where a Greyhound Trainer who tried to inject his dog with drugs accidently injected himself . The trainer was admitted to A/E for treatment.


We are tonight calling on the Gardai and today contacted the Minister John O Donoghue (Arts,Sports and Tourism) Department to investigate this incident fully. We also know that there is a major racket in the drug VIAGARA being sold at dog racing tracks here in Ireland. This drug is sold by pushers who have obtained it on prescription from MDs.Other drugs are very much in use at tracks as there is very little testing *. The incident with the trainer highlightes the need for full accountability and openess in this industry that is responsible for the deaths of thousands of young dogs annually.


Greyhound action want to see an end to Greyhound Racing, this is the only solution to end the suffering. Dogs are suffering horrifically and routinely at the hands of trainers and owners and should not be subjected to the hell of withdrawal sympthoms from drugs such as EPO, a steroid that shows no traces or LARGACYTOL, a sedative used also at dog tracks to slow dogs down.


We in Greyhound Action appeal to anyone who has further information on drugs being used to contact us immediately , they can remain anonamous.


*Apparently, the drug findings belonging to B na gCon for the five years previous to the last 18 months have also mysteriously vanished. Apparently drug use comes to light when they (the drugs) are discontinued as and when the dog is retired and goes to stud. The dogs literally fade away from the withdrawal symptoms. Similar to the Horse Racing scandal strange going ons are happening in the dog racing world .


Action >>


From Greyhound Action Ireland.


I've just spoken to a Lillian Murphy of the Department of Arts Sport and Tourism. email  lillianmurphy@dast.gov.ie or PHONE 00 353 1 6313800.


The Minister John O Donoghue is at email customerservice@dast.gov.ie or website www.arts-sport-tourism.gov.ie


She is trying to say that my complaint is to be aired at the 'wait for it' GREYHOUND FORUM.The Dept is satisfied that strict regulations and testings are in place to prevent and expose drug use. I asked her for the DRUG findings for the five years that are gone missing.(see my press release.)


1) We need calls and emails to show we mean business for the unfortunate dogs forced to suffer pain and withdrawal symptoms as a result of drug use.


2) Spread this far and wide please. Greyhounds are suffering horrifically at the hands of Bord na gCon and the Government are turning a blind eye.


3) ASK for the DRUG FINDINGS for period June 1997- June 2002, if necessary under the FOI act. Make MAKE SURE YOU ASK FOR THE CASE HISTORIES (not JUST the figures) FOR THE YEARS 96-2001. They have thrown out some figures but wont give CASE HISTORIES ... ie Name, Ownership, trainer, race, Substance tested for/positive for.


4) Get others to write/email.


5) Pass to the media in UK .


6) Put on any mailing list you know.


Greyhound Action Ireland.

PO Box 4734.