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Irish trainer and jockey son banned for three years after admitting doping charges

The pair apologised and said it was down to a “lack of knowledge.”

Jockey Michael McConville.
Jockey Michael McConville.
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

FATHER AND SON Stephen and Michael McConville have been banned from racing for three years after admitting to doping charges at a British Horseracing Authority hearing today.

The Northern Ireland-based team faced a disciplinary panel earlier to answer charges brought against them following the withdrawal of Anseanachai Cliste at Cheltenham on 17 March.

The nine-year-old horse was removed from the Foxhunter Chase by order of race stewards at this year’s festival and was subsequently found to have a prohibited substance — cobalt — in a urine sample taken.

Jockey Michael McConville was handed a five-year suspension while his father Stephen was given a four-year ban, before both were reduced to three years after consideration by the disciplinary panel.

The pair apologised and said it was down to a ‘lack of knowledge’, adding that there ‘was no excuse for what happened.’

“We fully accept the finding of the British Horseracing Authority and regret that they had to invest time and resources to investigate and address the incident,” a statement read.

“We apologise for what has happened, which was of our own doing due to lack of knowledge. However, this is no excuse for what happened at Cheltenham.

“The horse was administered the tonic – Hemo 15 – which is a widely used nutritional supplement which, unknown to us, contained cobalt.

“We now just wish to put this unfortunate matter behind us as it has caused a lot of stress to all members of our family as the horses and point-to-pointing is purely a hobby for the family.

“Again, we wish to apologise to the BHA for this unfortunate incident and thank them for the fair hearing.”

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