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Bord na gCon chief sacked in doping row

Updated: Thursday, 14 Jun 2007 16:32

Bord na gCon chief sacked in doping row

The chief executive of the Irish Greyhound Board, Bord na gCon, has been sacked following a bitter row with the chairman of the body over the use of banned drugs for doping dogs.

Last week, the chief executive Aidan Tynan complained to Sports Minister John O'Donoghue that the board chairman Paschal Taggart had ensured that the findings of drug abuse were not published - contrary to established policy.

However, Mr Tynan was fired yesterday by the board.

One of the trainers involved, Paul Hennessy from county Kilkenny, has admitted to RTÉ that EPO was administered to his dog 'Barefoot Jenny' last summer. 

But he insisted that he did not want the matter hidden from the public.  

Mr Taggart said the board decision to remove Mr Tynan was unanimous. He rejected any allegations of bullying and said he was the most open chairman in the history of the State. 

In his letter to Mr O'Donoghue on 18 January, Mr Tynan recalled that last year, the board's laboratory certified two separate urine samples as positive for Erythropoietin, also known as EPO, which he described as a 'dangerous and illegal prohibited substance' used for blood doping. 

Mr Tynan wrote that the findings posed a very serious challenge to the board in ensuring the highest levels of integrity in the industry.

Mr Tynan said both the trainers involved admitted that EPO had been administered to the greyhounds when the cases were processed through the board's Control Committee, chaired by Mr Taggart.

Fines and money forfeitures were imposed.

But then Mr Tynan accused Mr Taggart of ensuring that the fines were not published contrary to the committee's policy in cases when banned drugs are involved or when the industry is brought into disrepute.

Mr Tynan said his own views were disregarded when he recommended to the chairman that the publication policy be adhered to and that suppressing the findings would be more damaging to the industry in the long run.

He was also worried about future funding for what he said was a 'unique and indigenous Irish industry'.

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