Dr David Crone was the founder of the Racing Laboratory of the Hong Kong Jockey Club and led its work for three decades. He was an extremely dedicated and well-respected scientist with a worldwide reputation in the field of doping control.
David was born in Derbyshire and retained a strong affection for that county throughout his life. He went to the University of Bristol to read Chemistry, graduating in 1962 with First class Honours and stayed on for his PhD, awarded in 1966. He married Caroline Ann Rhodes in 1965, whom he had met at Bristol, and immediately left England for the Far East, taking up a post as Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Hong Kong.
In 1969, prior to turning professional, the Hong Kong Jockey Club approached the University to arrange testing of equine samples, which David took on as an extra job. Shortly afterwards, a doping scandal highlighted the need for a dedicated laboratory and David transferred to Jockey Club employment. The Racing Laboratory was founded in 1970 and David continued to lead it until his retirement at the end of 1998.
During this time he was an active member of the Association of Official Racing Chemists, and made substantial contributions to racing chemistry including publishing many research papers and serving on AORC committees. He received the AORC Award in 1992 in recognition of his outstanding work.
David was passionate about the development of racing chemistry and was a major driver towards international harmonization in the testing for equine prohibited substances. When the Advisory Council of Equine Prohibited Substances and Practices of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) was formed in 1989, David was a founding member and the Secretary (there was no Chair) until he retired in 1998; he then continued as supernumerary Secretary until the end of 2000. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the establishment of numerous IFHA thresholds.
In addition, David had a keen interest in laboratory accreditation issues. He served as the Convenor of the Working Group on Racehorse Testing of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) from the early nineties to 2001. During this time, he led the successful drafting and first revision of the guidance document ILAC-G7 Accreditation and Operating Criteria for Horseracing Laboratories, which were approved and published by ILAC in 1994 and 1996 respectively.
His expertise in this area was extended to athletics with work for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as Advisor on ISO accreditation in 1996-97 and as a Consultant expert to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for the Olympic Games during 1998-2002.
Upon retirement from the Hong Kong Jockey Club, David moved to Ireland where he worked as a consultant at the Irish Equine Centre until 2005.
He is survived by his wife, Caroline, their two daughters, Charlotte and Rachel, son Jasper and nine grandchildren.
An ethical man of strong intellect, David had a passion for accuracy and detail, but his grandchildren remember him for his humorous rhymes and stories.