More than a dozen horses from different trainers tested positive for a prohibited substance resulting in mass scratchings at a Hong Kong event, writes Geoffrey Riddle.
Horse racing: More than a dozen horses involved in Hong Kong doping scandal
Hong Kong has been engulfed in a doping scandal of its own after 15 horses tested positive for a prohibited substance resulting in mass scratchings from Sha Tin's holiday meeting on Wednesday.
Twelve horses from Ricky Yiu's stable were found to have had traces of zilpaterol in their urine, while three from Paul O'Sullivan's barn also tested positive for the same substance.
Three horses trained by Me Tsui were also thought to have had traces of the substance but could not be tested comprehensively before racing.
Four of Yiu's horses tested positive having run at Sha Tin and Happy Valley on June 2 and June 5, respectively, but his other eight horses were late withdrawals yesterday.
Yiu was interviewed by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) stewards Wednesday pending further inquiry. The substance is thought to have come from feed that both Yiu and O'Sullivan use, but that Tsui does not use.
The registered feed product was first imported by the HKJC in 2009 and has been used without incident until now.
Numerous other trainers in the special administrative region have used the feed and the HKJC are conducting testing of horses in specific barns.
"The Club will work diligently to limit the extent of the current problem and explore all avenues to enhance quality control measures," the HKJC said in a statement Wednesday.
"A meeting will be scheduled with trainers tomorrow to communicate immediate measures to best contain and minimise the problem from reoccurring in the future."
England is currently engulfed in a doping scandal involving Sungate, a veterinary product prescribed by a Newmarket veterinarian that contains stanozolol, the anabolic steroid used by disgraced former Godolphin trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni.
Clive Brittain and Gerard Butler, both based in Newmarket, have admitted to using the substance.
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