Five horses run in recent race meetings and under the care of various trainers have so far been reported to show the presence of morphine in their 'A' samples, according to a statement from the British Horseracing Authority.
Morphine is a prohibited substance on race day but it is allowed during training. The test results were reported by LGC analytical laboratory (formerly HFL Sport Science).
BHA will not make public any information regarding the identity of the horses, trainers or owners, the races they competed in, or the dates on which the samples were taken until all necessary processes are completed. The BHA said the process includes counter analysis of respective 'B' samples, if requested by those connected with any of the horses, and its own investigations.
Authorities are investigating whether—owing to the cluster of the cases and the substance involved—there may be any link between the cases and, if so, what that link might be. Due to the shared characteristics of these cases it is not possible to rule out the reporting of further positive detections from post-race samples obtained in recent weeks. BHA has been in communication with the National Trainers Federation and trainers of the horses in question on this matter.
Once all processes have been completed the cases will be put before a disciplinary panel which will decide what action, if any, should be taken. This may include the disqualification of the horses in question from the relevant races.