Trainer Adrian McGuinness handed two-year suspension by Turf Club
Trainer Adrian McGuinness has been given a suspended two-year disqualification by the Turf Club in the wake of a court appearance last year relating to the possession of unauthorised animal remedies.
McGuinness was fined a total of E2,500 at Swords District Court in Dublin in February 2016 for possessing four animal remedies without authorisation and two remedies without a prescription from a veterinary surgeon.
The case against McGuinness, whose stables are in Lusk, had been brought by the Department of Agriculture, following a visit by its officers to the yard on June 4, 2014. In passing sentence, the court had accepted an argument that the offences were "at the lower end" of the scale.
McGuinness, who was ordered to pay Turf Club costs of E1,000, stressed none of the medications were performance enhancing and said: "I'm just relieved it's all over. This is something which happened three years ago and I'm glad it's been brought to a close.
"I just want to now carry on trying to train as many winners as possible."
The Turf Club's Referrals Committee imposed the suspended ban on the condition McGuinness does not breach similar rules again, asking it be noted "that if similar facts arise in the future, it is highly unlikely that a suspended penalty would arise".
A statement said: "Having considered the submissions and the evidence, the Referrals Committee noted that Adrian McGuinness had accepted he was in breach of the relevant rules. They said that any penalty must be appropriate for the offence taking into account the mitigating factors such as the way the defendant approached the matter and his personal circumstances.
"In relation to the offence itself, they felt that it was a middle range offence which would normally attract a licence suspension of two years. What occurred was damaging to the good reputation of racing as a licensed trainer had been convicted in the District Court with the resulting publicity.
"The committee noted that there has been a significant change in culture in the past three years with regard to how trainers deal with medication. With regard to Mr McGuinness, the committee noted that the probable consequences of the loss of his licence would be catastrophic. They also noted that the substances found were not prohibited at all times substances, that Mr McGuinness had a clean record, that there was a guilty plea and that he volunteered certain information."
It added: "Taking all the above into account, the committee imposed a penalty of a two year suspension of Mr McGuinness' licence which will not be activated provided Mr McGuinness does not breach similar rules in the next two years.
"Mr McGuinness accepted the penalty and agreed that the penalty can be imposed together with any other penalty which may apply for any new offence if he breaches similar rules within the relevant period."