Trainers, Vets Among 27 Indicted in Racehorse Doping Scandal

Those charged include Jason Servis, who trained Maximum Security, the 2019 Kentucky Derby first-place finisher disqualified for interference.

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Trainers, Vets Among 27 Indicted in Racehorse Doping Scandal
The Associated Press reported on March 9, 2020, that the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York has charged 27 people in what’s described as a “widespread international scheme to drug horses to make them race faster.” The alleged scheme is outlined in four indictments.

Those charged include Jason Servis, trainer of Maximum Security, the champion colt who gained national attention when he was disqualified for interference after finishing first in the 2019 Kentucky Derby. On Feb. 29, 2020, Maximum Security won the inaugural Saudi Cup, a race with a $20 million purse. The colt is named in the indictments as one of Servis’ horses receiving performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).

Also charged is Jorge Navarro, trainer of the late sprinter X Y Jet. Federal prosecutors allege Navarro gave the horse adulterated and misbranded PEDs before wins in Florida and Dubai last year, races in which he earned $1.5 million. The 8-year-old died of a reported cardiac event in January 2020.

In addition to trainers and assistant trainers, those charged in the PED scheme include pharmacists, drug distributors, and veterinarians. The indictments allege the shipment and administration of adulterated and misbranded drugs designed to secretly and dangerously enhance horses’ racing performance beyond their natural ability, a dishonest practice that places the lives of affected animals at risk, said a U.S. Department of Justice statement

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The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care is an equine publication providing the latest news and information on the health, care, welfare, and management of all equids.

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