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Steroids found in stables of leading trainer, court told

A leading racehorse trainer had a kilo of anabolic steroids in his stables when veterinary inspectors carried out a raid, a court has heard.

Philip Fenton is facing eight charges over treatments and medicines allegedly found at his yard, South Lodge in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, in January 2012.

Among the substances was the quantity of steroid Nitrotain, a 20ml bottle of a second performance enhancing drug, Ilium Stanabolic, a counterfeit antibiotic and medicines held without prescription, the court heard.

Fenton's trial will take place at Carrick-on-Suir District Court on October 23.

During a brief hearing at the courthouse yesterday, Judge Terence Finn was told the State would be calling eight witnesses, some of whom will travel from overseas for the trial. It is expected to last one day.

Defence barrister John Walsh did not indicate how many witnesses he will call.

The prosecution is being brought in the name of the Minister for Agri- culture for infringements of rules on animal remedies.

Fenton (49) attended the short hearing in Carrick-on-Suir courthouse but did not make any comment.

He has had nine winners from 46 runners in the current Irish season - a strike rate of about 20pc.

In June, Judge Finn dismissed an application by defence lawyers that the charges were not being correctly brought as regulations had been amended between the date of the inspection and when summonses were issued in October 2013.

Defence lawyers had suggested at a previous hearing that the matter may end up in the High Court at a future date.

Mr Walsh told Judge Finn he had no issue with the District Court's jurisdiction to hear the case.

No plea has been entered.

At a previous hearing in the long-running case, prosecutors said it is the State's case that Fenton has accepted he was in possession of some banned animal remedies including steroids when his stables were searched more than two-and-a-half years ago.