doping trial

Feds Having Trouble Designating Prison for Jordan Fishman

Jordan Fishman, the convicted Massachusetts-based drug formulator who made illicit substances that were later injected into racehorses, got sentenced to 15 months back on Feb. 8 after pleading guilty in the wide-ranging international horse doping conspiracy. But nearly four months later, Fishman still hasn't been incarcerated because the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has twice lagged in telling him to which federal facility he's supposed to surrender. On Monday, for the second time within the past six weeks, his attorney wrote a letter to the judge handling the case to inform...

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Veterinarian Louis Grasso Enters Guilty Plea in Doping Case

Louis Grasso, a veterinarian who served the harness racing industry and who was one of 29 individuals indicted in March of 2020 for his role in a racehorse doping ring, entered a guilty plea in federal court Wednesday before U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel. He was charged with one count of drug adulteration and misbranding conspiracy, a felony, and could face as much as five years in prison. The prosecution charged that Grasso's doping led to corrupt trainers collecting over $47 million in "ill-gotten purse winnings." He will be...

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Final Witnesses on Stand in Giannelli Trial

by Bill Finley and Robert Gearty Federal prosecutors called their final witnesses May 3 at the New York horse doping trial of Lisa Giannelli. The end of the government's case sets the stage for what could be the trial's climax: Giannelli's testimony in her own defense. The trial resumes May 4. The government's witnesses Tuesday included Adrienne Hall, a harness trainer who also testified against veterinarian Seth Fishman, whom prosecutors believe Giannelli conspired with, and a retired special investigator with the Pennsylvania Racing Commission. Hall testified that after first reaching...

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Government Witnesses Take Stand in Giannelli Trial

Conor Flynn, a witness at Lisa Giannelli's horse doping trial May 2, testified that he was a former harness trainer who understood the penalties for violating race-day medication rules. "You're not supposed to administer any drugs on race day," Flynn, 32, told the jury on the trial's fourth day in U.S. District Court in New York. Flynn is testifying for the government as a cooperating witness--the second cooperator to flip and testify against Giannelli who is on trial on a charge of conspiring to misbrand and adulterate drugs. The other...

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Feds Fight Fishman Attempt to Merge Convicted Counts

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday filed a formal opposition to convicted veterinarian Seth Fishman's recent attempt to dismiss Count One of his two racehorse doping convictions. Fishman is arguing that he was essentially tried twice for the same crime, because the first count was contained within the second, much broader conspiracy. The feds see it differently: "While there are notable foundational similarities between the two conspiracies, namely, the aim of moving drugs interstate to corruptly improve racehorse performance, the focus and scale of each conspiracy differed significantly," stated the government's Mar....

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Meadowlands Says It Won't Scratch Adrienne Hall's Horses

The Meadowlands released a statement late Thursday saying it will not scratch horses owned by Adrienne Hall, a harness owner and trainer who testified in federal court last week against Seth Fishman while admitting she used his performance-enhancing drugs on her horses. Fishman was found guilty Wednesday of two counts of conspiring to violate adulteration and misbranding laws and the manufacture of PEDs administered to racehorses, and faces up to 20 years in prison. The statement stands in contrast to the policy of the United States Trotting Association, which said...

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Need for Eye Surgery Gets Navarro 30-Day Delay in Reporting to Prison

Former trainer Jorge Navarro, who was supposed to report to federal prison for his five-year horse doping sentence Feb. 17, got granted a 30-day extension Thursday because he needs eye surgery. "While preparing for his impending incarceration, Mr. Navarro had an eye examination which revealed a condition that requires a surgical procedure," the convicted felon's attorney wrote in a Feb. 3 letter to in United States District Court (Southern District of New York). "The earliest date that his ophthalmologist could schedule the surgery is Feb. 16, 2022. Mr. Navarro is...

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Fishman Found Guilty; Faces Up to 20 Years in Prison

Florida veterinarian Dr. Seth Fishman, the first person to face trial in a sweeping horse-doping case that documented the widespread use of illegal and undetectable performance-enhancing drugs at tracks across the country, was convicted in New York Feb. 2 on charges that could put him behind bars for 20 years. A jury of eight women and four men in U.S. District Court in Manhattan found Fishman, 50, guilty of two counts of conspiring to violate adulteration and misbranding laws and the manufacture of PEDS administered to racehorses by corrupt trainers...

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Fishman Absent From Court After Wiretaps Reveal Him Bragging About Dubai Sales

Closing arguments were a late scratch Jan. 31 in the horse doping trial of veterinarian Dr. Seth Fishman being held in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. New York U.S. District Court Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil met the lawyers for both sides in the robing room, then called the jury into the courtroom and sent them home. She told the jurors to return to court Tuesday. "There has developed legal issues that need to be dealt with," Vyskocil told the jury of eight women and four men. But Fishman's absence in...

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Trainer Who Testified Against Fishman Faces Lifetime Ban

Trainer Jamen Davidovich, who admitted Thursday during the trial of Seth Fishman that he bought and used performance-enhancing drugs supplied by the veterinarian, has been suspended by the Ohio Racing Commission, a first step in what could lead to a permanent revocation of his license. Davidovich testified that Fishman, one of 27 individuals originally indicted in the doping probe that includes high-profile trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis, began supplying him with drugs after the two met at a Ft. Lauderdale restaurant. Asked by prosecutor Anden Chow how the subject...

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The Week in Review: Fishman's Defense is Hard to Swallow

Indicted veterinarian Seth Fishman started to tell his story last week, both to a jury and to the Washington Post. Fishman, currently on trial in a federal courtroom in Manhattan for his role in a widespread scheme to dope racehorses, wants you to believe that he is an animal lover who was devoted to working for the benefit and health of the horses he treated. He wants you to believe that the drugs he dispersed were given to help and heal and not to improve performance. "It will be for...

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Doping Trial Pauses for Weekend, But Court Filings Don't

Although the federal racehorse doping conspiracy trial for veterinarian Seth Fishman and his assistant, Lisa Giannelli, paused for the weekend, attorneys for both sides remained busy on Saturday and Sunday, filing requests with the court over the admissibility of evidence regarding an equine fatality and the way witnesses must testify while wearing masks as a pandemic precaution. On Sunday morning, the prosecution filed a motion in United States District Court (Southern District of New York) that asked for permission to present evidence related to Fishman being investigated in Delaware more than...

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