doping

NY Harness Trainer Suspended 20 Years for Blood Doping

The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) on Sept. 21 suspended Standardbred trainer Michael Temming for 20 years after two of his horses tested positive for a blood doping agent in a pair of December 2019 races at Yonkers Raceway. The Paulick Report first reported the story, describing the drug involved as IOX-2, a stabilizer of hypoxia-inducible factor, which is known as a blood and gene doping agent. TDN reported back in January that when the New York Equine Drug Testing Program announced the detection of this drug in Temming's...

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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

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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Week in Review: ‘What’s more important? Winning at all costs or your dignity?’

Trainer Mark Casse and the other class of 2020 inductees to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will have to wait another year to give their official acceptance speeches because the COVID-19 pandemic postponed this year's ceremony. But on Sunday, as a panelist among globally recognized trainers at the 68th annual Round Table Conference hosted remotely by The Jockey Club, Casse spoke with passion in a wide-ranging discussion that touched on problems plaguing the sport from a trainer's perspective. The words he uttered might not have been...

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Positive CBD Test Results in Suspension, Fine for Calhoun

A positive test for the Class B substance cannabidiol (CBD) in a filly who broke her maiden last summer at Ellis Park has resulted in a 30-day suspension and $500 fine for trainer W. Bret Calhoun. Citing mitigating circumstances ("number of violations in relation to overall record"), the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) wrote in an Apr. 14 ruling that Calhoun would only have to serve ten days of his penalty between Apr. 14 and 23. The remainder of his suspension will be stayed "on the condition that no Class...

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Harness Trainer Rene Allard Latest Arrested in Doping Scandal

Harness trainer Rene Allard has joined the long list of those indicted for their role in a massive horse doping scheme that has rocked Thoroughbred and harness racing. The number of individuals who are known to have been involved is now 29. Allard was not among the original list of names of those who were indicted that was released Monday by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. Allard is second in the current trainer's standings at Yonkers Raceway, behind only Richard Banca, who has also...

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Servis, Six Others, Stripped of New Jersey Horse Racing Licences

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal in conjunction with the New Jersey Racing Commission announced that the State has suspended the horse racing licenses of seven New Jersey licensees. The suspensions come two days after the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York unsealed indictments against a total of 27 individuals in an alleged international conspiracy to dope racehorses. Seven individuals received letters from New Jersey Racing Commission Executive Director Judith A. Nason notifying them of their immediate suspensions. The septet includes trainer Jason Servis, Nicholas...

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After the Feds Are Gone, Then What?

The FBI and the Department of Justice have done what the horse racing industry had failed to do for decades. They caught and are prosecuting high-profile trainers for doping infractions as part of an investigation that has finally torn the lid off of what had been the shadowy and secretive world inhabited by racing's cheaters. The entire industry owes a debt of gratitude to these agencies. The problem is, it's not the FBI's job to clean up horse racing. It has more important matters to deal with. There may be...

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OBS March Still a Go Amid Coronavirus Concerns

The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training will continue as scheduled, OBS Director of Sales Tod Wojciechowski told the TDN Tuesday. The decision comes as organizers and administrators for institutions and events around the world grapple with just how seriously to take the Coronavirus outbreak. "We're monitoring the situation, but we are moving forward with the sale," Wojciechowski said. "There have been no restrictions placed on us by a government agency--it's a fluid situation, but right now with the investment that's at stake for our consignors...

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Despite Fears of Getting Caught, Alleged Doping Conspirators Chatted and Texted Anyway

Trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis have both racked up well-above-norm winning ratios of 29% since 2017, and no Thoroughbred horseman in this day and age can sustain such gaudy numbers without inviting allegations of cheating via illegal horse doping. Monday, those suspicions exploded beyond the boundaries of our sport when four unsealed federal indictments implicated 27 individuals in a "widespread, corrupt scheme" dating to at least 2017 that centers on Navarro, Servis, and a vast network of co-conspirators who allegedly manufactured, mislabeled, rebranded, distributed and administered performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs)...

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Links to Harness Game All Over Doping Indictments

Jorge Navarro, among the 27 individuals indicted Monday by the District Attorney for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan for doping horses, had become the go-to trainer for many harness racing horsemen who dabbled in thoroughbred racing. Including Shancelot (Shanghai Bobby), who was owned by prominent harness breeders and owners Al and Michelle Crawford, Navarro trained a number of horses for people involved in the standardbred game. According to the indictment, Navarro's ties to several of those individuals involved far more than the typical client-trainer relationship. Harness trainers...

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Op/Ed: Cheating Will Stop With Harsher Penalties

Thirty-six years ago, I was dispatched to cover the annual gathering of the Association of Racing Commissioners (now ARCI). I had been covering Thoroughbred racing and breeding full-time for all of about three months. That night I found myself sitting at dinner with the head of a state testing lab. "I listened to the session on uniform medication," I told him. "Seems logical." "Never happen," he said matter-of-factly. "Every state has its own racing commission. Every state has its own testing procedures. No one wants to let go of that."...

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