doping trial

A Tearful Servis Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

NEW YORK, NY-Disgraced former trainer Jason Servis was sentenced to four years in prison by judge Mary Kay Vyskocil in U.S. District Court in Manhattan Wednesday. Servis, one of more than two dozen people charged after a wide-ranging investigation by the FBI into horse doping, had earlier pled guilty to one felony count and one misdemeanor count related to the use of the banned substances Clenbuterol and SGF-1000. "You deliberately engaged in illegal conduct for years," Vsykocil told Servis. "This was not a one-time offense or an aberration. Your doing...

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Fishman Claims $13.5M Forfeiture is 'Unlawful in its Entirety'

The veterinarian Seth Fishman, who is currently imprisoned but appealing his 11-year sentence for two felony drug-supplying convictions in a decades-long international racehorse doping conspiracy, has filed legal paperwork objecting to the $13.5-million forfeiture that was also imposed upon him, claiming the judge's order was illegal. "The forfeiture sought here is not authorized by statute and is therefore unlawful in its entirety," Fishman's attorney, Steven Kessler, stated in a Sept. 12 filing in United States District Court (Southern District of New York). "The Preliminary Order of Forfeiture (POF) seeks a...

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Florida Vet Garcia Wants Plea Change to Avoid Doping Trial

Erica Garcia, a Florida-based veterinarian, broke off her longstanding business relationship with the now-imprisoned trainer Jorge Navarro in early 2019. But she remained in contact with other conspirators of the Thoroughbred doping scheme that Navarro-and numerous other racetrackers-would later admit to. So when federal investigators began compiling evidence that led to a nationwide series of arrests in a widespread racehorse drugging crackdown in March 2020, Garcia was considered fair game for her alleged role in the pipeline of purportedly performance-enhancing drugs. Charged with two felony counts involving conspiracies to commit...

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Seth Fishman Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison

Dr. Seth Fishman, the Florida veterinarian snared in the federal government's sweeping horse doping investigation, was sentenced Monday to an 11-year prison sentence in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The sentence is the longest meted out in the case that led to charges against 31 individuals, including prominent trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis. Fishman is the 11th to be sentenced, which includes Navarro. Most of the others have pleaded guilty and await sentencing. Servis faces trial next year. Fishman, who has been behind...

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Barred Trainer Tannuzzo Poised to Change Plea in Doping Case

The barred trainer Michael Tannuzzo appears poised to join the parade of indicted defendants in the 2020 racehorse doping conspiracy case who have changed their pleas to guilty in order to keep felony charges against them from getting decided at trial. On Tuesday a federal judge granted Tannuzzo a swift July 7 hearing to explain his reasons for wanting to change his initial "not guilty" plea. Tannuzzo, 50, who had 11 horses under his care and had been racing at Aqueduct at the time of his March 9, 2020, arrest,...

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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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