The Independent Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Board fined Gordon Elliott £1,000 for his conduct. His hurdler Janahier has been disqualified from last year’s Champion Hurdle after Elliott took ultimate responsibility for a “mysterious” positive test for lidocaine, a fast-acting anaesthetic, returned by the gelding after finishing third in the Grade One race last March.
Wednesday’s hearing in the case was told that a broader BHA investigation included an unannounced visit to Elliott’s yard by an Irish Horseracing Integrity Board team when Elliott attended the April 2022 Grand National meeting at Aintree.
Because lidocaine is an over-the-counter medication, Elliott’s medical records of 27 employees who attended the Cheltenham Festival last year were also examined. However, the drug was not included in his travelling head lass’ mouth-ulcer treatment.
Elliott admitted violating the authority’s anti-doping rules at the start of the hearing, under the “strict liability” rule that applies to cases positive for banned substances. However, his punishment was set below the entry point for lidocaine positives after the panel decided the infraction fell into the “low” category of offences on the part of the coach.
Charlotte Davison, representing the BHA, told the earlier hearing that it had been termed a “mystery” case of contamination in the past, with Elliott admitting to an investigator that the methods in his yard were drugs to prevent cross-contamination from people, for example As a result of staff urinating in the horse box, improvements may be required.
Asked if he trained staff about anti-doping rules, Davison said Elliott replied: “Obviously, we talk to everyone regularly about urinating in stables and that sort of stuff. We must discuss it with our HR person next season.”
David Fish, the panel’s chair, announced the fine as he announced that, based on the mitigating and aggravating factors, it was appropriate to impose a fine of £1,000 on the defendant. “The horse, I am afraid, must be disqualified. The placing will be corrected, and the prize money [of £47,745] must be returned.”