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Comer Banned Three Years in Irish Doping Scandal

Trainer and billionaire businessman Luke Comer has had his license suspended for three years and been ordered to pay €755,754 in costs plus fines totaling €85,000 after a dozen of his horses tested positive for anabolic steroids in one of the biggest doping scandals to hit Irish racing.

Details of the shocking case were released by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board the morning of Sept. 14. Among the 12 horses in which traces of methandienone (MD) and methylestosterone (MT) were found was He Knows No Fear (IRE), the longest-priced winner in the history of the sport in Ireland or Britain at 300-1 when winning a maiden at Leopardstown in 2020.

He Knows No Fear had a hair sample taken from him in the aftermath of the listed Trigo Stakes at Leopardstown in Oct. 2021, in which he finished fourth of 14, and it was found to contain MD and MT.

The remaining 11 horses who also tested positive for anabolic steroids were tested out of competition at Comer’s yard in Nov. 2021, as was He Knows No Fear.

The horses who tested positive were Old Tom Higgins, Boxing Hero, Grand d’Espagne, Aircraft Carrier , Powerful Don, Wee Jim, Great Moon, Our Man Flint, Questionare , Green Force, and Blyto.

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Comer denies that he or any of his staff were involved in doping the dozen horses.

It is not the first time Comer has been in hot water with the authorities. In 2017 he was fined €50,000 for a number of breaches of regulation, including refusing IHRB officials access to the yard, failing to arrange adequate supervision of his horses, his medicine register not being in order, shortcomings in management structures, and his representatives providing false and misleading information regarding the whereabouts of horses.

The Irish St Leger (G1), won by Eldar Eldarov  at the Curragh last Sunday, was sponsored by the trainer’s Comer Group International.

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