CCTV not “silver bullet” in dealing with fallout from notorious Viking Hoard horse doping case

Horse Racing Ireland management were told CCTV would not have been a “silver bullet” in a doping controversy but that it would “distort [their] message” if it was not addressed.

They were also told they needed to work on “honing those key messages” in dealing with the fallout from a high-profile nobbling case.

The horse Viking Hoard had tested positive for a fast-acting sedative at over 100 times the screening limit as part of an elaborate betting sting that ended up being linked back to a mystery individual with connections to match fixing.

The horse’s trainer Charles Byrnes was suspended for six months for leaving the horse unattended but has always insisted he had nothing to do with what transpired.

Records from Horse Racing Ireland show how the state agency used high-profile PR firm Teneo to deal with the controversy as senior officials were given mock interviews to “stress-test answers” they would give in media appearances.