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Result of a Disciplinary Panel hearing (Michael McConville, Stephen McConville) on Tuesday 19 September 2017

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Press Release

26 September 2017

Having considered the submissions and arguments from the parties, the Panel came to the following decisions. This will just provide the penalties, with full reasons to follow as soon as possible. In brief, we approached our decisions on the basis that neither Stephen nor Michael McConville had any real understanding of the components of the substances they administered to ANSEANACHAI CLISTE in the stables at Cheltenham. But they had a general belief that they would help their horse in the race due to be run just 7 hours after they gave it injections. That belief may well have been entirely misplaced in the case of the adrenal cortex injection. In respect of the Haemo-15 injection, the Panel did not accept that they used this for the specific purpose of introducing Cobalt into the horse’s system, and in any event this type of product would not be used by a cheat intending to use Cobalt for blood-improving purposes. The real vice of what they did here was the deliberate breach of race day administration rules, combined with the welfare risks they took. There was an element of premeditation. They brought with them from Northern Ireland the two substances (which had been prescribed for another horse 3 months before), intending to use them or at least giving themselves the option of using them.

The Panel further found that there was no breach of Rule (G)2.9 as alleged by the BHA in the case of Stephen McConville. 

The Panel settled on the following penalties, before applying any discount for the admissions of breach that were made.

Rule (G)2.1 – 2 years disqualification in the case of Michael McConville.

Rule (G)2.5 – 4 years disqualification for both.

Rule (G)2.6 – 2 years disqualification for both.

Rule (A)31.2 – 3 months disqualification for both.

Rule (C)28 – 1 year’s disqualification in the case of Michael McConville.

All those penalties are to run concurrently, except for the Rule (C)28 penalty, which applies to Michael McConville only, and which is to run consecutively to the other penalties.

That means that we impose disqualifications, subject to reductions to reflect early admissions, of a total of 5 years for Michael McConville and 4 years for Stephen McConville. To those amounts we apply a reduction of 40% for the early admissions by Michael McConville in interviews on 19 April 2017, which was well before he was actually charged, and a reduction of just 25% in the case of Stephen McConville, who also made admissions on 19 April 2017 but was considerably less frank about his own role when doing so. 

Therefore, for Michael McConville the net disqualification period is 3 years, and for Stephen McConville it is also 3 years with immediate effect.

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