drugs in racing

Sadler Fined, Suspended for Medication Violations

In a settlement agreement and mutual release with the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), leading California trainer John Sadler has been fined $15,000 and handed a 60-day suspension--45 days of which are stayed--for three medication violations dating from 2019. The suspension runs June 29 through June 13. As part of the agreement, Sadler has been placed on probation for one year, ending June 28, 2021. If he incurs any medication violations during that period, the 45 days of stayed suspension will be imposed following a noticed hearing. As first reported...

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Brendan Walsh Talks Maxfield, Drugs, Godolphin’s Derby Quest On TDN Writers’ Room

Patience is a virtue in racing, and trainer Brendan Walsh showed it in spades over the winter with his first Grade I winner, Godolphin's Maxfield (Street Sense). A blowout victor of the GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity last fall, the homebred was slated to be one of the favorites in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile, but had to be scratched with an ankle injury and was slowly brought along by Walsh to a triumphant sophomore debut in the GIII Matt Winn S. Saturday, almost eight months after his last start. The...

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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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With Racing’s Doping Scandal, Time to Drain the Swamp

Seven trainers, including two of the biggest names in the sport in Jason Servis and Jorge Navarro, are among 27 individuals indicted for doping horses. The scheme involves Eclipse Award winner Maximum Security (New Year's Day), G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen winner X Y Jet (Kantharos), exotic drugs you've never heard of and the killing of horses to hide the evidence. It does not get any uglier. With this, coming on top of the breakdowns and fatalities at Santa Anita, many were left to wonder if the sport can survive another...

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Horseracing Integrity Act Reaches Majority Milestone in House

The Horseracing Integrity Act (H.R. 1754), introduced last year by Congressional Horse Caucus co-chairs Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY), has officially received formal endorsement by a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives, with 226 Members now cosponsoring the legislation. The bipartisan bill authorizes creation of a non-governmental anti-doping authority governed by representatives of all major constituencies of the industry and responsible for implementing a national, uniform medication program throughout the sport. "After years working side by side with my friend Congressman Andy Barr to move this...

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