Fentons licence had to be revoked for the Turf Club to retain credibility!

News filtered through over the weekend that Philip Fenton the Carrick on Suir , Co Tipperary based horse trainer had been sanctioned by the Turf Club following his recent court case.

Found guilty in the Circuit Court last month of possession of drugs at his yard including a quantity of steroids in January 2012 he was fined in excess of €10,000 on that occasion.

At a hearing on Saturday the Turf Club withdrew his training licence for the next three years with the sanction due to start on the 28th of November. This is no different to the sanctions handed down over the years to world class athletes , cyclists etc and seems to be in line with their length and severity.

Fenton over the whole saga never attempted to explain nor give any indication as to how the steroids happened to be found stored in his yard and has only used technical details and legal arguments in his efforts to stop the court proceedings.

He was entitled of course to defend himself in this way and it was up to the authorities to to prove his guilt.

This they have done.

He might well still appeal all findings and punishments issued at this stage but the authorities had little option but to act in this way.

A further financial fine if imposed by the Turf Club would have been a total cop out and they had to revoke Fentons licence if they were to have any hope of retaining credibility and ensuring any semblance of integrity in horse racing rules and regulations.

Fenton , was and is a good trainer, having had some nice horses in his yard over the years but his court case and guilty verdict has tarnished his personal record but more importantly damaged Irish racing.

Thankfully the racing authorities took the view that they had to act and they did, their actions should be welcomed.

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