Top trainer Jessica Harrington asks 'where is this coming from?' over Jim Bolger drug cheats claim

GOLD Cup-winning trainer Jessica Harrington has spoken out over Jim Bolger's drug cheats claim.

Veteran trainer Bolger has claimed that horse doping is “the number one problem” in Irish racing.

In a recent interview, Bolger said: "There will be a Lance Armstrong in Irish racing.”

And he has since been invited by the Irish government to go before a parliamentary committee to "substantiate or put to bed" his doping claims.

Speaking on RTE, Harrington, who has won multiple top-level races over jumps and on the Flat, denied ever giving her horses performance-enhancing drugs.

And she reckons Bolger's claims are damaging the Irish racing industry.

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She said: “Every time any trainer has a winner now, there is a suspicion whether there are drugs in the horse.

“I do not give my horses drugs. I've been training for 35 years and I have always been straight and honest.

"I'm an open book and, if they want to come in here and test, I'd be only too happy.

"It makes me sad that people think that horses are drugged and people think that trainers are drugging horses.

"As far as I'm concerned, catch the people who are doing it, if they are doing it. Punish them very severely because they are damaging our sport. 

“Not only have my horses been tested in this country but I have had winners in England, France and in America, they all get tested even before they start in a race.

"Nothing has ever come back positive so I am just wondering where this is all coming from?”

She continued: “I think testing is very important and I think there should be more testing. Every winner in Ireland is tested and there are a certain amount of random tests every year.

"The IHRB have the right to come into this yard because I am a licensed trainer. They can search the yard and take whatever tests they want to. They can look at all my records.

"I hope there isn't an issue in racing, but there are people using drugs in every sport and there are people who try to get the better of the testing system.

"All I can do is stand with my hand on my heart and say I don't do it."

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