France Galop has issued a statement about the matter. James Crombie/INPHO

Leading French racehorse trainers arrested on doping suspicion - reports

Around 15 people including veterinary surgeons were taken in as part of the investigation.

FRENCH RACEHORSE TRAINER Cedric Rossi who trained Sealiway to win one of English racing’s most prestigious races in October was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of doping horses, a source close to the investigation told AFP.

Rossi’s uncle Frederic and brother Charley — both fellow trainers — were also among those arrested by the police branch specialising in gambling and racing offences, the Service central des courses et jeux (SCCJ).

In all around 15 people — including veterinary surgeons — were taken in.

“Some people are under arrest. Others are helping us with our enquiries as witnesses,” the source said.

Several searches were carried out on Tuesday morning, notably at the training centre in Calas, near Marseille, where the Rossi family’s horses are stabled.

Frederic is the most successful of the three in terms of winners this year with 94 — winning over 2.5 million euros in prize money — and lies fifth in the flat trainer’s title race.

Cedric enjoyed a notable success in October when 12/1 outsider Sealiway won the Group One Champion Stakes at Ascot in a meeting titled the British Champions Day, which is the climax to English racing’s flat season.

This came 13 days after Sealiway finished fifth in Europe’s most prestigious race the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Frederic — who trains over 150 horses — has been reprimanded previously by French racing authorities France Galop.

In June, he was banned for three months, though they were suspended, for giving one of his runners corticoids six days before a race when the legal deadline is 14.

In June 2019, he was fined 1,500 euros when a filly of his returned a positive test for a banned substance and he could not present relevant documentation to justify its presence.

He was also fined 2,000 euros in June 2020 for a similar case.

France Galop issued a statement to AFP in light of the arrests.

“The battle against doping is a priority of ours to which we devote an annual budget of 10 million euros.

“We perform close to 30,000 random dope tests a year, at the races, at the training stables, when horses come out of training, and at studs.”

The arrests and searches came on the back of information obtained by Marseille police.

© – AFP, 2021