Prominent Irish trainer Jessica Harrington has voiced her sadness that the public may believe horses are being drugged in Irish racing.

Harrington, among the all-time greats of the Irish ranks under both codes, has also called for “very, very severe” punishments if any of her colleagues are found to be drugging horses.

Speaking to Ruby Walsh on RTE Racing, the Classic and Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer was responding to this month’s claims from Jim Bolger that a ‘Lance Armstrong’ will be uncovered in Irish racing.

Top Flat trainer Bolger has been invited before a parliamentary hearing early next month to substantiate his claims, together with officials from Horse Racing Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.

Harrington said: “It just makes me sad that people think that horses are drugged, and trainers are drugging horses.

“As far as I’m concerned, catch the people that are doing it if they are doing it, and punish them very, very severely – because they are damaging the rest of our sport.

“I think testing is very important, and maybe there should be more – but every single winner in Ireland is tested, and there are a certain amount of random tests.

“As I’m a licensed trainer, they can come into my yard and test at any time and search the yard.”

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