Global Views: Maintaining Racing's Social Licence

In ages past horseracing was accepted as a part of global culture. Initially a pastime of the aristocratic, the invention of syndicates gave opportunity for working people to become a part of the sport. This was a goal that many strove towards and achieved during the twentieth century. The practices within the mystical realm of racing were not questioned; it simply was not done. The dawn of a new millennium has seen society change, animals have been humanised and a group within society now question our practices and the morality...

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Three Indicted In French Doping Investigation

Jump trainers Luc Gabeur and Jean-Laurent Dubord and a third person whose name has not been revealed have been indicted in the French doping investigation which kicked off with raids Tuesday morning, according to the Jour de Galop. Four other people appeared before the investigating judge Friday, and a warrant for the arrest of a fifth person has been issued. The JDG also reported that among the products seized in the raid were Hemo-15 and DMSO. Hemo-15, also sold in the U.S., is marketed as a blood builder by its...

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Arrests in France on Doping, Crime Charges

Twenty-three people remained in custody Tuesday night after searches took place in racing stables throughout France, Italy and Spain, according to a report in Wednesday's Jour de Galop, which reported that those held come from "every racing discipline," who are being investigated for equine doping, organized crime, and association with criminals, the paper reports. While the JDG listed several of those arrested, none came from the Thoroughbred discipline, but were all National Hunt or trotting trainers. They said that the investigation has been ongoing for a year, and was launched...

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Cohen Named To HISA Racetrack Safety Standing Committee

Edited Press Release The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA)'s Board of Directors has elected Dr. Noah Cohen, VMD, MPH, PhD, DACVIM-LA, to fulfill the remainder of Dr. Paul Lunn's term on the Racetrack Safety Standing Committee following Dr. Lunn's return to England. Dr. Cohen is a University Distinguished Professor and the Patsy Link Chair in Equine Research at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and has dedicated his entire career to equine health and safety, serving as an equine veterinary practitioner before entering academia. Among...

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PHBA Donates $150K to New Bolton

The Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association donated $150,000 to the Equine Pharmacology Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's (Penn Vet) New Bolton Center that will support continued research in equine biomarkers. The new round of PHBA funding will bolster three key research initiatives focused on improving the health and safety of equine athletes and enhancing integrity in racing. One area of research seeks to identify novel mRNA biomarkers that can help proactively predict if a horse is at risk for injury, even for injuries that are difficult...

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Letters to the Editor: Barry Irwin

Regarding T. D. Thornton's Weekly Roundup, I would like to chime in to say that, as opposed to baseball in their juice era, Thoroughbred racing has only begun its purge. Only the tip of the iceberg has been shown so far. Wait until investigations reach the Midwest and the West Coast. The round up of miscreants is going to be very large in terms of numbers of cheaters who will be forced to find something else to do in life besides doping horses and robbing honest horse trainers and owners....

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Judge Upholds Meadowlands Ban of Owners Associated with Indicted Trainer

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by eight harness owners who were banned at the tracks owned by Jeff Gural due to their ties with indicted trainer Rene Allard. Gural owns the Meadowlands in New Jersey and Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs in New York. The case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning the plaintiffs may file a subsequent suit on the same grounds. Despite the allegations against Allard, he had been cleared by the U.S. Department of Justice to train horses at a South Florida training center,...

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Judge Modifies, But Does Not Revoke Fishman's Bail Conditions

After federal prosecutors alleged that indicted Florida veterinarian Seth Fishman is still selling purportedly performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) while awaiting trial in the international racehorse doping conspiracy case, the judge in the case Wednesday ordered new bail modification conditions after hearing both sides of the issue at a Monday hearing that could have--but didn't--result in Fishman's bail being revoked. Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil of United States District Court (Southern District of New York) wrote in a Dec. 22 order that the following added terms shall apply to Fishman's pretrial release: "The...

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Navarro Wants Variance to Cut Five-Year Max Sentence By 30%

The barred trainer Jorge Navarro, who faces a five-year maximum prison term after pleading guilty in August to one count in a years-long Thoroughbred drugging conspiracy in exchange for having a similar second count against him dismissed, on Friday asked the federal judge who will sentence him Dec. 17 for a variance that could bring the most time he would spend behind bars down to about 3 1/2 years. Navarro, through a sentencing submission report filed by his legal team Dec. 3 in United States District Court (Southern District of...

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In Sweden, It's a Dog Versus Dopers

In Swedish racing, there's a new tool being used to catch drug cheats, one with four legs and a wet nose. A 2 1/2-year-old Giant Schnauzer named Lykke (Swedish for happiness) has been put to work by the Swedish Trotting Association (ST) as part of its efforts to wipe out cheating. Lykke is able to detect the presence of illegal substances in a horse by smelling their urine. "It is impossible to say how common doping would be in Swedish trotting, but it would be naive of me to think...

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Zulueta Joins Growing List of Plea-Changers in Doping Case

Marcos Zulueta, the now-barred Thoroughbred trainer facing two felony charges in the alleged nationwide horse-doping conspiracy case, appears on the verge of joining the growing list of defendants flipping their initial "not guilty" pleas to "guilty." On Thursday, Zulueta, formerly based in the mid-Atlantic region, was granted an Oct. 15 change-of-plea hearing in United States District Court (Southern District of New York). If Zulueta does indeed end up pleading guilty, his flip will be the eighth in the wide-ranging case that initially included 28 defendants listed in the original indictment...

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Trials in Alleged Doping Conspiracy Get Pushed to 2022

Back in May, United States District Court Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil was emphatic about wanting to begin trials in the fourth quarter of 2021 for the first of four groupings of 14 defendants in the alleged federal doping conspiracy case. In late August, she even set a Nov. 15 start date for the trial of Seth Fishman, Lisa Giannelli and Jordan Fishman. But during a Sept. 15 status conference, that schedule got reset to January 2022, meaning that for a number of defendants in the latter groupings, their trials could...

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