HIWU Hits Diodoro With Provisional Suspension

Robertino Diodoro | Coady

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Top trainer Robertino Diodoro has been provisionally suspended by the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU) after he was allegedly found to possess the banned substance Levothyroxine.

Levothyroxine is a thyroid medication. According to the National Library of Medicine the use of thyroid hormones for doping to enhance performance in human sports has long been controversial. There have been claims of abuse of these drugs, but they have not been prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Diodoro declined to comment and referred questions to his lawyer, John Holleman. At deadline for this story, Holleman had not returned a phone call from the TDN seeking comment.

Horses that were entered by Diodoro before he was notified of the suspension are being allowed to run, but he will not be allowed to enter horses thereafter. Diodoro will not be allowed to saddle those horses or visit the paddock.

Diodoro's upcoming entries include the GII Fantasy S. at Oaklawn, a prep for the GI Kentucky Oaks. His stable will send out longshot Midshipman's Dance (Midshipman).

In the cases where a horse tests positive for a banned medication, HIWU has put off enforcing the suspension until the results of the B sample have been returned. But since Diodoro's suspension does not involve a failed drug test, his suspension will go into effect after his horses that have already been entered have run.

According to the HIWU website investigators found the drug to be in Diodoro's possession on March 13. The notice of his suspension was posted to the HIWU website Friday. HIWU spokesperson Alexa Ravit said she could not disclose why HIWU investigators undertook a search that allegedly led to the finding of the drug.

Diodoro faces a suspension of up to two years.

Diodoro was the leading trainer in 2023 at Oaklawn Park and is currently in second in this year's Oaklawn standings. Training since 1995, Diodoro has 3,184 career wins and a winning rate of 21 percent.

Diodoro was suspended for the first 15 days of the current Oaklawn meet after a horse he ran at the 2022-2023 meet had a carbon dioxide (TCO2) finding above the permitted limit.

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