• Horse racing

Brittain reveals horses treated with Sungate

ESPN staff
June 10, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Clive Brittain has won every British Classic apart from the Derby © PA Photos
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Veteran classic-winning trainer Clive Brittain has revealed the drug Sungate has been used on some of his horses - but only when they were out of training and recovering from "serious injury".

The Newmarket trainer, who has enjoyed victory in some of the world's biggest races such as the Breeders' Cup, told the Guardian that the joint treatment, which contains the banned anabolic steroid stanozolol, had been administered to a number of horses in rest.

The sport has been rocked by the scandals of former Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni and, most recently, Gerard Butler - who now faces a BHA inquiry in relation to the use of the drug.

Al Zarooni was banned from training for eight years after he admitted giving anabolic steroids to 15 horses in his care at his Newmarket stables.

However Brittain insists that, unlike his fellow trainers, he would be "surprised" to face charges from the Authority, which is continuing ongoing investigations into the use of Sungate.

"They [the BHA] came round and we had a talk," Brittain, 79, told the Guardian. "Any of the horses that were treated by the vets were horses recovering from serious injury.

"They weren't in training, they were at rest. These horses were months away from a racecourse. It would only have been the horses that had fractures we'd be talking about, six or seven at the most.

"When a horse has a fracture, you treat it, you give it time and then you give it more time. It wasn't there to boost their growth."

"We've never had a horse test positive for anything."

Asked whether he would have permitted the use of Sungate had he known it contained an anabolic steroid, Brittain said: "Certainly not, because we've never used anything like that and never would."

The BHA did not respond to the comments, although a spokesman for the Authority said: "The investigation into the use of Sungate remains ongoing and we will not be making any further comment at present."

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