A cluster of five positive drug tests for morphine in thoroughbreds has been reported by Britain’s racing regulatory body, which says it cannot rule out more cases coming to light.
The British Horseracing Authority reported on Thursday evening that the positive results had been returned from A samples taken at recent race meetings.
Morphine is a prohibited substance on raceday under the rules of racing.
The connections of the horses will be given the opportunity to request analysis of the B samples.
“In total, five horses under the care of various trainers have so far been reported to show the presence of morphine in their A samples,” the authority said.
It said it would not make public any information regarding the identity of the horses, trainers or owners, the races in which they competed, or the dates on which the samples were taken until all necessary processes and inquiries were completed.
The authority said that, owing to the cluster of cases and the substance involved, it was investigating to identify if there may be a link between the cases.
“Owing to the shared characteristics of these cases it is not possible to rule out the reporting of further positive detections from post-race samples obtained in recent weeks.”
The authority said it had been talking with the National Trainers Federation and trainers of the horses in question.
“Once all processes have been completed the cases will be put before a Disciplinary Panel who will decide what action, if any, should be taken. This may include the disqualification of the horses in question from the relevant races.”