BHA panels may have erred in punishing trainers over dope tests

• Lawyer/owner raises concern during Richard Hannon hearing
• Thistlecrack reported ready for his reappearance at Newbury

The verdicts in past British Horseracing Authority cases were called into question on Thursday when the chairman of a disciplinary panel suggested previous panels may have “misdirected themselves” about the test to apply when considering the penalty to be imposed on a trainer over a failed dope test. Stuart Morrison, a retired solicitor and former immigration judge whose colours were carried to big-race glory by Quick Ransom and Bijou D’Inde 20 years ago, made the comment in a hearing about the Oaks-day success of De Bruyne Horse, who has now been disqualified.

Richard Hannon, trainer of De Bruyne Horse, was fined £8,000 because the colt tested positive for a metabolite of tramadol after winning the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom in early June. It is the third time that the trainer has been called to the BHA over tramadol positives, involving four horses from his Wiltshire yard over the past three years.

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