How new proposed rules would deter horse racing’s drug cheats

Trainer still furious about Maximum Security DQ in Kentucky Derby; Belmont Stakes next?Thoroughbred racing’s drug cheats would face stiffer sanctions, stronger deterrents and surprise testing if a set of proposed rules announced Thursday are adopted.

Negotiations between the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency have yet to yield a contract or put a price on streamlining the sport’s drug enforcement, but the rules released for public feedback anticipate a more vigorous, centralized and consistent model than the patchwork arrangement that currently exists among America’s 38 racing jurisdictions.

Positive tests involving prohibited substances would be subject to multiyear suspensions: two years for a first offense; up to four years in the event of aggravating circumstances or for a second violation within 10 years.

Therapeutic medications banned only on race day could trigger a 30-day suspension and up to a 2-year ban in the event of aggravating circumstances or a fourth violation within a five-year period.

Race-day violations would mean automatic disqualification for the horse.

These penalties are potentially more punitive than those currently imposed by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. According to the KHRC’s guidelines, a first offense involving a Class C drug such as betamethasone calls for a suspension of no more than 10 days for the responsible trainer…

Navarro, Servis, Vets and Other Cheaters charged by FBI in doping scheme

March 9, 2020

Trainer Jason Servis, of Maximum Security fame, and another top trainer Jorge Navarro were among those charged by federal prosecutors with participating in a widespread doping scheme.   Navarro, who looks like he stepped out of a Soprano’s episode, has long been a trainer who performed at an incredibly high level.  Both trainers succeeded at a level too good to believe could be done without illegal means.

As reported: “Federal prosecutors brought charges against 27 individuals for a widespread scheme involving performance enhancing drugs, alleging that racehorse trainers, veterinarians and others had manufactured, distributed and received “adulterated and misbranded PEDs and … secretly administer[ed] those PEDs to racehorses,” according to the charging documents…

The investigation covered a time period beginning in January 2017 and continuing through January of this year, and involved races across the country. FBI agents on Monday raided barns at Gulfstream Park West, near Miami, and the Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Fla.”

Here are the FBI documents charging Navarro and Servis.

The NTRA  put out a statement about today’s unfortunate news.

In case you want to see what cheating really looks like in a racehorse, just watch this “unbelievable” performance by Shancelot in last year’s Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga.  The Jorge Navarro broke the 6f track record at one of the oldest tracks in America in a 6 1/2 furlong race.