HIWU Withdraws Farrior Suspension

Anthony Farrior | Jim McCue

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Just one week after the Horseracing Welfare and Integrity Unit (HIWU) issued a public disclosure on its website that top Mid-Atlantic trainer Anthony Farrior had a horse test positive for the banned substance Metformin, Farrior's attorney Drew Mollica said that he has been informed by HIWU that the charges have been dropped.

“The system worked and we are happy to clear his good name and his reputation,” Mollica said.

Mollica said HIWU's decision came about after a review of the split sample, which was requested by Mollica and Farrior. Mollica said there were “issues” with the split sample, also known as the B sample.

“Pursuant to the procedures available we sought verification of the alleged positive by requesting a B sample,” Mollica said. “Due to issues with the B sample and pursuant to the rules, HIWU withdrew the charges. There were issues with the B sample that precluded them from prosecuting.”

Farrior faced a suspension of up to two years. When HIWU took over the role of drug testing and handing out penalties for infractions on May 22, trainers who had an alleged positive for a banned substance were issued provisional suspensions that went into effect immediately. It has since changed its rules and allows trainers to put off their suspensions until the results of the B sample have come back.

“The fact that he was not summarily or provisionally suspended is a testament to the effort HIWU has made to seek some level of justice and we look forward to more modifications going forward to protect the innocent,” Mollica said.

Metformin, is used in humans to combat Type II diabetes, but is not FDA approved for horses. In October, HIWU announced that following an internal review, it had discovered that not all of its participating laboratories had applied the same limit of detection in analyzing samples for the presence of drug. HIWU said it met with the six laboratories it works with to establish uniform limits of detection for the Metformin.

Farrior, who has been training since 2011, has 840 winners from 3,725 starters. He is currently the leading trainer at Charles Town with 136 wins on the meet.

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