Coach Jim Bolger is due to be invited to an Irish parliamentary committee investigating doping allegations in the horse racing industry, it has been confirmed.
Agriculture Committee Chairman Jackie Cahill said Bolger’s claims were causing “serious damage to the reputation” of the industry and that it was important that they be “confirmed or brought to light. bed”.
Fianna Fail TD for Tipperary confirmed that committee members decided to ask Mr Bolger and representatives from the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, Horse Racing Ireland, the Department of Agriculture and the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association to discuss the issue on July 6.
Earlier this month, Mr Bolger raised concerns about the possibility of doping in Irish races in both a newspaper interview and a racing podcast.
This prompted the IHRB to emphasize its commitment to “the highest standards of integrity in Irish racing” and a “zero tolerance approach to doping”.
Mr Cahill said it was “extremely important” that the charges be investigated given Ireland’s reputation in horse racing.
“We are considered to be the world leaders in horse racing. For a small country our success is phenomenal,” he said.
“We are really over our weight and for one head coach – Jim Bolger – to say that there would be a Lance Armstrong incident in Irish races is extremely serious. It just cannot be ignored, it must be. treaty.”
He added: “In my opinion, he has to either confirm it or withdraw it. It seriously damages the reputation.
Mr Cahill said there was an “obligation” for the committee to investigate the allegations.
“The way we look at it is that this problem needs to be justified or put to bed,” he said.
“You can’t have such a doping innuendo hanging over the industry.”
“We will see what Mr. Bolger has to say and we will listen to the different authorities and see where we go from there.”
An IHRB spokesperson said: “We would be happy to meet the deputies of the Oireachtas Committee and explain in detail what we are doing in terms of the fight against equine doping and our strategies as well as the progress that has been made. carried out in this area in recent years and more recently.