Morphine investigation nearing end
Last Updated: 30/07/14 4:45pm
British Horseracing Authority chief executive Paul Bittar has revealed the investigation into the spate of positive tests for morphine is close to concluding.
The Queen's 2013 Ascot Gold Cup winner Estimate is one of seven horses known to have tested positive for the painkiller in recent weeks.
It is thought the drug entered the horses systems through contaminated feed, a theory Bittar also pointed to, although the source has yet to be officially confirmed.
He told Channel 4 Racing: "I wouldn't rule out there being no further positives at this stage, but we are very close to concluding our investigation.
"At this stage all our information points towards a feed contamination, as has been reported.
"I'm not sure that we have been quiet through this because we broke with our normal protocol to advise about this before the horses were named, which is slightly unusual for us. We were conscious of the high-profile nature, particularly Estimate, and the fact there were multiple horses involved.
"It is fair to ask could we have done more to explain the difference between doping and medication issues, but we get caught between being the regulator and making sure that we play out the whole investigation and not ruling out any potential reason for the positive.
"While everything is pointing towards feed contamination, as the regulator we are forced to play that out right through the investigation.
"It is certainly possible there may be one or two more (positives), but we are very near the end of the investigation. If we find that contamination is the sole reason, then we have opportunities under the Rules about how we deal with the trainers."