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DOPEY DOG; RTE star Micheal's shock as his greyhound fails race drug test.

Byline: PAT FLANAGAN

A GREYHOUND partly-owned by top RTE broadcaster Micheal O Muircheartaigh has tested positive for a banned drug.

The GAA pundit was last night said to be in "shock" after his dog Heart Rumble was found to have the prohibited substance nandrolone in its urine.

The drug was found in the animal after a race in Sunderland last December.

It did not win but a urine sample showed the dog to be positive for nandrolone, which is not prohibited under Irish greyhound racing rules, and a number of other substances.

The dog's trainer Paul Hennessy was fined EUR1,169 and severely reprimanded by the National Greyhound Racing Club (NGRC) in London last week after Heart Rumble's positive test.

Mr O Muircheartaigh has laryngitis but his wife Helen he said he was "shocked" and didn't know anything about the incident.

She added: "The trainer didn't tell him anything about it. He doesn't know what to think."

Heart Rumble, which is owned by a syndicate called Micheal-agus-a-chairde, is a male greyhound.

And it is believed the other members of the syndicate knew nothing about the claims. Sources said the owners, including Mr O Muircheartaigh, are furious about being kept in the dark.

The RTE man is believed to have spoken to Mr Hennessy a week ago when the trainer admitted he did not mention the failed test.

Mr Hennessy said: "You have to understand the dog had a medical problem and was treated under veterinary supervision.

"There was nothing illegal or prohibited about using the drug in this country."

It is understood that Mr Hennessy may appeal the decision because the drug is banned in Britain but legal in Ireland.

According to the official Irish greyhound magazine, The Sporting Press, Mr Hennessy told the NGRC that he was treating the puppy for a kidney problem.

Heart Rumble ran three nights ago at Clonmel, Co Tipperary, in the quarter- finals of the Produce Stakes and qualified for the final stages of the Irish Greyhound Board-backed classic.

Nandrolone is used by some trainers to prevent bitches coming into season.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 20, 2005
Words:351
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