EAST Ilsley trainer Hughie Morrison expressed his delight after being cleared by an independent disciplinary panel following a failed drugs test by one of his horses.

The 57-year-old was handed the minimum fine of £1,000 and ruled not to blame for the dope test failure at the start of the year.

Morrison attended a two-day hearing at the British Horseracing Authority headquarters in London this week, after Our Little Sister tested positive for the banned substance nandrolone following a race at Wolverhampton on January 14.

Morrison, vehemently denied any wrong-doing and offered a £10,000 cash reward for anyone that could help prove his innocence after the charges were first announced in May.

On the disciplinary panel verdict, Morrison said: “I can’t really comment as I don’t want to say the wrong thing and there will be a statement.

“However, we’re obviously over the moon.

“There’s no ban, we’ve been completely exonerated, so the hell of the last 11 months can be forgotten.

“All my staff are having a celebration now and it’s very emotional.

Our Little Sister returned a positive test after she finished last of eight runners in an extended two-mile handicap, in which she was sent off at odds of 12-1.

She raced once more, when down the field at Southwell 12 days later, and has since been retired.

That was her third run that month, having finished fourth there on January 2.

The disciplinary panel said in its reasoning: “In the light of the finding that Mr Morrison was not involved in the administration, would it be right to disqualify him?

The guide does indeed give that recommendation, and the panel can see why a trainer might suffer that sanction simply because the use of ‘prohibited at all times’ drugs like steroids occurs on his watch as the responsible person.

“There might be cases where a panel is left in real doubt as to whether the trainer was involved in this.

“Then, it might be said, a discretion to impose a penalty of disqualification is justified unless the trainer positively satisfies the panel that he was not involved.

“But that is not this case. The panel decided that Mr Morrison was not involved.

“There is no suggestion that his security precautions and practices were so lax that he bears responsibility in that sense.

“On the contrary, the evidence showed his security practices were adequate and found to be adequate from time to time by BHA stable inspections.

“It felt that it was right to impose the entry level penalty referred to of £1,000.”