FRENCH authorities have handed preliminary charges to three people suspected of roles in a horseracing doping ring.

The suspects are accused of horse doping, organised fraud or illegal veterinary practice, the Bordeaux prosecutor’s office said in a statement. The three were released under judicial supervision but banned from racetracks, according to the statement.

Five other people detained in the investigation are facing charges in the coming days, the prosecutor’s office said.

The suspects were among 26 people – including racehorse trainers, veterinarians and pharmacists — arrested on Tuesday during a police operation in France, Italy and Spain.

French racing paper Jour de Galop reported that jumps trainers David Cottin, Pascal Journiac, Lub Gabeur and Junior Golepa were among those questioned by police.

The case was opened in 2020 after a delivery of suspected doping products was reported at a stable in La Teste in southwest France, the prosecutor’s office said.

Subsequent investigation, coordinated by European justice agency Eurojust, uncovered multiple networks involved in importing and distributing products used to boost horse performance.

French racing authorities LeTROT and France Galop said they were following the investigations and would assist investigators.