horse doping

Diodoro Resurfaces At Lone Star Park

High-profile trainer Robertino Diodoro, who is serving a provisional suspension from the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU) after the banned substance levothyroxine was found in his barn at Oaklawn Park, has entered a horse for the April 18 card at Lone Star Park. On opening night, he has entered Master of Disguise (Mastery) in a maiden special weight race with a purse of $33,000. Diodoro is eligible to race in Texas because the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) does not have jurisdiction in that state. Diodoro did not...

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Gabapentin: What Is It?

The news last week that leading trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. has been suspended for 15 days and fined $500 by the Pennsylvania Racing Commission—pending appeal—after one of his trainees tested positive for the substance gabapentin after winning a graded stake at Presque Isle Downs last September, led to a collective head scratch. What exactly is gabapentin? "It is a drug that is used as an anti-convulsant in people. It is also used for neurotrophic pain—in other words, pain originating from nerves," said former California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) director, Rick Arthur. "For...

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Cohen Testifies in Giannelli Trial

Day two of Lisa Giannelli's horse-doping trial in a New York courtroom began April 28 with opening statements and ended with testimony from an ex-harness trainer turned government cooperating witness. "The defendant wasn't just in the doping business, she was in the deception business," prosecutor Benjamin Gianforte told the jury in U.S. District Court in New York. But defense attorney Louis Fasulo countered by saying that his client couldn't be found guilty because her actions lacked criminal intent. "Intent," he wrote in large letters on a computer screen for the...

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Two Years After the Indictments, Where Are They Now?

It may seem like yesterday, but the bombshell that was the announcement that more than two dozen people had been indicted for their alleged role in a horse doping scheme was made exactly two years and two days ago. What has happened to the 29 individuals since the day that shook horse racing to its core? Here's a rundown: Jorge Navarro: Navarro pled guilty to one count of drug alteration and misbranding and was sentenced to five years in prison, the maximum allowable sentence. Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil was not...

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Fishman Trial Enters Homestretch

New York federal prosecutors in the horse-doping trial of Dr. Seth Fishman neared the finish line Jan. 28, bringing their case to a close after calling 11 witnesses and presenting evidence from FBI wiretaps. "At this time the government rests its case," prosecutor Anden Chow told U.S. District Court Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil on the trial's eighth day. A short time later, the defense rested their case without calling any witnesses or putting the accused veterinarian on the stand to testify. Without the jury present in the Manhattan courtroom, Vyskocil...

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Jury Selection Process Begins for Fishman Trial

The Jan. 19 selection of jurors for the federal horse-doping trial of Dr. Seth Fishman and Lisa Giannelli was extended into at least a second day when only 37 of 75 potential jurors were questioned inside a lower Manhattan courthouse. U.S. District Court Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil called for an end to the marathon nine-hour session at about 6 p.m. ET, ordering the jurors who had yet to be interviewed to return to the same Southern District of New York court by 9:30 a.m. Jan. 20. The interview process consisted...

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Feds Want Those Navarro Cheated to Collect $25M Restitution

Federal prosecutors recommended Friday that the barred trainer Jorge Navarro be sentenced to the five-year maximum prison sentence for his admitted role in a years-long horse doping conspiracy, and they want the judge to make him pay $25.8 million in restitution to victims who were cheated out of purse money. "Navarro's aggressive pursuit of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs)--and his eagerness to use racehorses under his care to test the potency of novel PEDs--displayed a particularly callous disregard for the well-being of the horses under his care and control," government attorneys wrote...

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Week in Review: Debate Over 'PED' Devolves Into Theater of the Absurd

When former pharmacist Scott Mangini was sentenced to 18 months in prison last Friday for his admitted role in the federal doping case, it provided another piece to the puzzle in terms of how other offenders might later get sentenced for their roles in the same alleged conspiracy. Specifically, almost everyone in the Thoroughbred industry wants to know what will happen to the highest-profile defendants at the very end of the supply chain: The barred trainer Jorge Navarro, who has already pled guilty to one felony count in the conspiracy...

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Drug Distributor Kegley Pleads Guilty, Faces up to 36 Months in Jail

Among the individuals originally indicted in the doping scandal involving top trainers Jason Servis and Jorge Navarro, Michael Kegley Jr. entered a guilty plea Friday morning during a teleconference before federal judge Mary Kay Vysockil. Kegley pled guilty to one count of drug adulteration and misbranding. Kegley had originally pled not guilty to the charges. Kegley will not be sentenced until a Nov. 22 hearing, but it was revealed during Friday's proceedings that he has entered into a plea agreement with government lawyers in which he has agreed to a...

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Mangini Pleads Guilty in Doping Case

Scott Mangini, who, along with Jason Servis,  Jorge Navarro and others was indicted in March 2020 for his involvement in a horse doping scheme, has pled guilty to conspiring to unlawfully distribute adulterated and misbranded drugs with the intent to defraud and mislead, it was announced Friday by Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He faces a maximum sentence of five years. Mangini, 55, became the third person involved with the case to enter a guilty plea. The list includes Mangini's business partner,...

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NY Times Names Gamine as Oaks Day Positive

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) is conducting a follow-up investigation of a class C medication positive detected in a sample returned from Kentucky Oaks day, according to a KHRC statement Thursday. Joe Drape of The New York Times reported in a story published at 6:43 p.m. that it was the Kentucky Oaks third-place finisher Gamine who returned the positive test, citing "two people familiar with the results of the drug test who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly." "The Derby day samples were...

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Bettor Awarded $20K After Charging He was Cheated by Horse Dopers

In a landmark case that could pave the way for bettors to recoup gambling earnings they may have lost when their picks were beaten by doped horses, a harness racing horseplayer has received $20,000 in a settlement after he claimed he was cheated out of winnings in a 2016 race at the Meadowlands. In 2018, Illinois resident and gambler Jeffrey Tretter went to court in an effort to recoup over $31,000 he says he was entitled to because his bets would have come in if not for his selections being...

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