Harness Trainer Allard Avoids Trial by Pleading Guilty

Sarah Andrew photo

Harness trainer Rene Allard, who was third in North America in both wins and purse earnings in the year before he was arrested and indicted in the March 2020 international doping conspiracy investigation, on Thursday changed his plea to “guilty” on one felony count of misbranding and altering drugs.

Allard faces up to five years in prison when he gets sentenced Sept. 13.

As part of a June 2 plea agreement in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, Allard also agreed to pay a $628,553 money judgment, which represents the value of the forfeited drugs.

During its investigation of Allard prior to the nationwide sweep two years ago, the FBI intercepted a phone conversation in which two other alleged conspirators in the harness racing industry discussed the deaths of horses trained by Allard after they had been given illegal drugs. One reference caught on wiretap callously described the trainer's operation as the “Allard death camp.”

According to a Federal Bureau of Investigation deposition, a raid of Allard's barn later produced multiple empty syringes, the drug Glycopyrrolate, epinephrine and vials labeled “Thymosine Beta” and “for researching purposes only.”

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