Doping Scandal

Full Day of Testimony in Fishman Trial

A New York jury heard a full day of testimony Jan. 21 in the horse doping trial of Dr. Seth Fishman and Lisa Giannelli. The entire morning and most of the afternoon featured a second day of testimony from a woman who worked for Fishman at his Florida business Equestology for five years. Courtney Adams, 34, testifying from Florida via video conference, told jurors that Fishman and Equestology were all about "testability." That meant creating "product" that couldn't be detected in post-race testing by horse racing authorities, she said. During...

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Zulueta Changes Plea to Guilty

Trainer Marcos Zulueta joined the growing list of those involved in the Jason Servis-Jorge Navarro doping scandal to change their plea to guilty. Zulueta did so Friday when appearing via teleconference before federal judge Mary Kay Vyskocil. In doing so, Zulueta became the ninth of 27 people indicted in March of 2020 to plead guilty. Having pleaded guilty to adulterating and misbranding drugs with the intent to defraud or mislead, he faces up to five years in prison and will be sentenced in February. In the original indictment, Zulueta was...

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Alleged Doper Oakes the Latest Defendant to Ask for Plea-Change Hearing

Christopher Oakes, a barred Standardbred trainer facing two felony charges in the alleged nationwide horse-doping conspiracy case, could be the ninth among 28 initially indicted defendants to flip his plea to "guilty" after having requested and been granted a plea-change hearing that on Tuesday got set for Oct. 20. According to court documents, Oakes was the subject of two barn searches and numerous wiretapped phone conversations in 2019 in which he allegedly discussed helping the admitted doper Jorge Navarro procure and administer performance-enhancing drugs [PEDs] to be used on Thoroughbreds....

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Drug Distributor Kegley Pleads Guilty, Faces up to 36 Months in Jail

Among the individuals originally indicted in the doping scandal involving top trainers Jason Servis and Jorge Navarro, Michael Kegley Jr. entered a guilty plea Friday morning during a teleconference before federal judge Mary Kay Vysockil. Kegley pled guilty to one count of drug adulteration and misbranding. Kegley had originally pled not guilty to the charges. Kegley will not be sentenced until a Nov. 22 hearing, but it was revealed during Friday's proceedings that he has entered into a plea agreement with government lawyers in which he has agreed to a...

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Mangini Pleads Guilty in Doping Case

Scott Mangini, who, along with Jason Servis,  Jorge Navarro and others was indicted in March 2020 for his involvement in a horse doping scheme, has pled guilty to conspiring to unlawfully distribute adulterated and misbranded drugs with the intent to defraud and mislead, it was announced Friday by Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He faces a maximum sentence of five years. Mangini, 55, became the third person involved with the case to enter a guilty plea. The list includes Mangini's business partner,...

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The Week in Review: After Guilty Pleas, Will More Trainers Be Charged?
The Week in Review: After Guilty Pleas, Will More Trainers Be Charged?

The next chapter in the scandal that has rocked Thoroughbred racing played out last week when Scott Robinson and Sarah Izhaki both pled guilty to charges relating to the sale and distribution of performance-enhancing drugs used to dope race horses. It was an important development, but the bigger story is this: will it lead to a new and extensive list of indictments against trainers and others who so far have not been charged? That possibility certainly exists. For now, everything is speculation and the Department of Justice has not said...

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Two Defendants in Federal Indictment Plead Guilty to Doping Charges
Two Defendants in Federal Indictment Plead Guilty to Doping Charges

Scott Robinson and Sarah Izhaki each pled guilty today to conspiring to unlawfully distribute adulterated and misbranded drugs for the purpose of doping racehorses. Robinson pled guilty before U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken, and will be sentenced by Judge Oetken Jan. 15, 2021. Izhaki pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil, and will be sentenced by Judge Vyskocil Dec. 2, 2020. The guilty pleas are the first major domino to fall from the bombshell FBI indictments that the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New...

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Bettor Awarded $20K After Charging He was Cheated by Horse Dopers

In a landmark case that could pave the way for bettors to recoup gambling earnings they may have lost when their picks were beaten by doped horses, a harness racing horseplayer has received $20,000 in a settlement after he claimed he was cheated out of winnings in a 2016 race at the Meadowlands. In 2018, Illinois resident and gambler Jeffrey Tretter went to court in an effort to recoup over $31,000 he says he was entitled to because his bets would have come in if not for his selections being...

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Report: Shancelot Transferred to Asmussen

Graded stakes winner Shancelot (Shanghai Bobby), previously trained by the now-indicted Jorge Navarro, will be joining the Steve Asmussen barn in May, according to a report in Paulick Report. The 4-year-old blitzed to a 12 1/2-length victory in last year's GII Amsterdam S. in just his third career start. He was narrowly beaten when third in the GI H. Allen Jerkens S. and second in the GI Santa Anita Sprint Championship S. and hasn't started since finishing second behind champion Mitole (Eskendereya) in the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint last November....

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Owner Donoghue: 'Disgust' With Cheating Pushing Me to Race Overseas

Last week on the TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland, spurred by this Bill Finley column in which prominent owner Joe Sutton spoke out about trainer Joe Sharp and his twice-disqualified Blackberry Wine (Oxbow)--who continues to run in conditions he would be ineligible for if not for positive drug tests--I put out an open call. I wanted to hear from owners and trainers who have been adversely affected by cheating and drugging of horses in light of the bombshell allegations revealed by the FBI indictments that rocked the sport...

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Drazin Issues Lengthy Statement On Indictments Supporting HIA, On-Track Pharmacy, Outlining Plans for His Servis Trainees

Choosing not to comment last week as the horse racing world responded en masse to the bombshell announcement of indictments against 27 figures in the sport, including high-profile trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis, Darby Development CEO and Monmouth Park Operator Dennis Drazin has weighed in with a lengthy statement that was released Monday, shortly after Monmouth announced it will close and push back the start of its racing meet due to coronavirus concerns. The statement reads in part, "First and foremost, Monmouth Park and Darby Development, as well as...

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Florida Horseman Lichoa Charged As Part of Money-Laundering Scheme

Florida-based trainer Alfredo Lichoa is among five people who have been arrested afer a money-laundering investigation that was conducted by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the same agency that has indicted 27 people as part of a horse-doping ring. Lichoa and the others were arrested Mar. 9, the same day the FBI rounded up Jason Servis, Jorge Navarro and 25 others indicted for their alleged role in treating racehorses with performance-enhancing drugs. The money-laundering story was first reported by Paulick Report. Lichoa, a native of...

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