As a 9 year old, at school, I was introduced by my teacher at the time to what she called the “five rules of problems solving”. I couldn’t for the life of me recount all five now, however, one has stayed with me. Having worked out what you believed to be the correct answer, students were required to take the final step.
Students were required to ask themselves, “Is the answer sensible?”.
In hindsight, some of the results we saw in Clonmel this year defied belief. They weren’t sensible. Ordinary physiology shouldn’t allow recovery at the rate we witnessed in Powerstown Park.
It might have been the easy thing for the ICC to cover up these positives and go on as if nothing happened. Have us believe the lie. To their credit they took action. They exposed the truth and they punished those to blame.
As it happens both the Derby and Champion Stakes winners have been stripped of their titles. With Grim Intent will go down in the record books as the Boylesports Derby winner of 2014, while Mr Blonde will go down as the Classics Club Champion Stakes winner. Six other dogs have been disqualified and the dogs they beat promoted.
Having seen Killimor Matey awarded the Irish Cup two years ago following the disqualification of Jeru Cavendish, owners and trainers alike were given a warning. Whether the punishments are stern enough is open to debate but a debate is now needed as to how the issue of doping at all levels of coursing is going to be dealt with.
To me there’s no difference between doping in Powerstown and doping in Kilflynn, Liscannor, Glin, Dundalk, Cashel or Tubbercurry. If a culture is allowed to develop and continue unchecked in duffers, Trial Stakes and Cups then we can’t be surprised when it overshadows the biggest day in the sport.
This is a wake up call to everyone involved in the sport. Action can be taken to make sure doping is stamped out or we can bury our heads in the sand and say the system work and continue as before.