Two men banned for 10 years following hearing into Newcastle doping

Two men have been banned from racing for 10 years at an independent disciplinary panel hearing of the British Horseracing Authority over the alleged doping of Ladies First at Newcastle in September 2018.

The men, named by the BHA as Neil Waggot and Stephen Walker, were caught on CCTV footage apparently feeding the horse in the hours before she ran in a one-mile handicap while she was in the racecourse stables. The horse subsequently tested positive for Timolol, a beta blocker.

Ladies First, who was the 6-4 favourite, was beaten 22 lengths in eighth place of the nine runners.

She was disqualified and trainer Mick Easterby fined the token amount of 1p, simply because of his position and obligations as the horse’s trainer. The BHA made no allegation that he administered any prohibited substance, directly or indirectly.

Written reasons will be published in due course.

A spokesperson for Newcastle racecourse said: “Newcastle racecourse takes all matters of security and integrity very seriously and meet all licensing requirements in that regard.

“Following this incident in 2018, the individuals concerned were removed from the racecourse as soon as their actions had come to light and the racecourse has provided all relevant information to the BHA, as and when requested.

“We look forward to seeing the written summary of the hearing, and will work with the relevant bodies to implement any amendments to security procedures that are deemed necessary.”

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