PEDs

Harness Trainer Guido Gets 20 Months in Prison for Doping

Thomas Guido, III, a 57-year-old former Standardbred trainer based in the Northeast, became the third defendant in related criminal racehorse doping cases this week to be sentenced to prison. On Thursday, a federal judge put Guido behind bars for 20 months as part of an agreement with prosecutors in which Guido pleaded guilty to one felony count of substantive drug misbranding and adulteration with intent to defraud and mislead in exchange for three conspiracy charges against him being dropped. Guido was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. Prior to...

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Veterinarian Grasso Sentenced to 50 Months

Louis Grasso, a veterinarian who worked in the harness racing industry and was one of more than two dozen individuals indicted in 2020 for their role in a horse doping ring, has been sentenced to 50 months in prison and two years of supervised release. The sentence was handed down Tuesday by U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel in a lower Manhattan courtroom. Grasso was also ordered to pay a forfeiture totaling $412,442.62 and restitution in the amount of $47,656,576. He must surrender to authorities on January 24, 2023, at...

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Giannelli Gets Three and a Half Years in Prison

Lisa Giannelli was sentenced Sept. 8 to 3 1/2 years in prison as part of the federal government's sweeping investigation into horse doping at race tracks across the country. Giannelli, 56, was found guilty of peddling illegal performance-enhancing drugs to trainers to dope horses and faced a maximum of five years in prison. Her lawyers appealed for a no-jail sentence of probation. "This was not a one-time thing," Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil said in U.S. District Court in New York. "For 18 years, Ms. Giannelli marketed and sold what she...

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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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Fishman Has Been Sentenced. Is That the End of This Story?

Having been convicted of two counts of drug adulteration and misbranding, with intent to defraud and mislead, Dr. Seth Fishman was sentenced Monday to 11 years in prison, by far the longest sentence handed down to anyone among the many people tied up in a far-reaching doping scandal that has shaken the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries. He will soon call a federal penitentiary home, and for a long time. Good. He got what he deserved. But is this the end of his story or a precursor to what's to come?...

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Feds: Fishman 'Amplified the Disastrous Effects of Doping'

Six days before veterinarian Seth Fishman is to be sentenced for his two felony drug-supplying convictions in a decades-long international racehorse doping conspiracy, United States prosecutors told a judge he deserves a prison term greater than the 10 years recommended by federal probation officials, but below the maximum sentencing guideline of 20 years. The feds also recommended that the judge not use convicted trainer Jorge Navarro's five-year sentence-the most severe among prison terms meted out so far in this conspiracy-as a measuring stick, because Fishman's criminal actions had a multiplying...

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Letter to the Editor: Eric Ward

I have been following with interest the interviews with Liza Lazarus in the TDN. Excellent stuff, particularly today's piece concerning doping procedures. I sincerely hope the aptly-named Ms. Lazarus can bring racing back from the dead and I applaud the new transparency of publication of test results along with the accelerated hearing and adjudication timelines. A great step forward. However, I can't see the advantage of reducing possible sanctions for controlled therapeutic medication offences to make a distinction between such offences and those concerning banned substances. This is a bit...

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Fishman Asks for Yet Another Sentencing Delay

The veterinarian Seth Fishman--who is facing 20 years in prison, has an active motion asking for the first of his two convicted counts to be dismissed, and has already been granted one sentencing delay because he is allegedly having trouble filling out federal probation paperwork--again on Tuesday requested another delay of his sentencing. The half-redacted letter motion filed by his attorney in United States District Court (Southern District of New York) on May 17 suggests that a COVID-19 outbreak where he is being detained at Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn...

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Giannelli Trial Continues

Lisa Giannelli testified at her horse doping trial May 4 that she had a good reason for wanting to testify in her own defense. "To tell my story," she told the jury in U.S. District Court in New York. She is on trial on a conspiracy charge, accused of assisting veterinarian Seth Fishman in the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs that prosecutors say were used by corrupt trainers to dope racehorses in violation of racing regulations. During three hours of questioning by her attorney Louis Fasulo, Giannelli, who admitted being nervous...

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Chris Oakes Sentenced to Three Years

NEW YORK--Standardbred trainer Chris Oakes, who has admitted to supplying Jorge Navarro with performance- enhancing drugs as well as using illegal drugs with his own horses, was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday. In October, Oakes, 57, pled guilty to one count of misbranding and drug adulteration with intent to defraud or deceive. The decision was handed down by Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York before a small audience that included Meadowlands owner Jeff Gural. Under the sentencing...

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Trial Date for Servis Pushed Back to Early '23

The trial of alleged doping conspirator Jason Servis got pushed back to early 2023 at a status conference in federal court on Thursday. Robert Gearty of the Blood-Horse first broke the Feb. 24 story from United States District Court (Southern District of New York). Gearty reported that the former trainer's trial will take place in the first quarter of 2023 along with that of veterinarian Alexander Chan. Previously, Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil had been aiming for a mid-2022 trial for Servis, the most prominent name among the remaining defendants asserting...

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Zulueta Gets 33 Months in Prison

Marcos Zulueta, the former mid-Atlantic-based trainer with an abnormally high win percentage who was caught on wiretaps procuring drugs for and boasting about Thoroughbred performance-enhancing regimens with the convicted horse doper Jorge Navarro, was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison on Thursday. Zulueta, 53, had pleaded guilty in October to one felony count of adulterating and misbranding drugs with the intent to defraud or mislead. As part of a plea agreement, he had previously agreed to forfeit $47,525. At his Feb. 24 sentencing, the remaining two open felony charges...

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