Commentary: In Wake Of Rojas Case, Racing Should Follow Lead Of USOC

by | 07.07.2017 | 7:47am
USADA, an independent anti-doping organization, was called upon by the United States Olympic Committee to curb cheating in human athletics.

Having been involved as a lobbyist in many policy debates in Washington for several years, I consider it a rare gift when a major court case strongly confirms your side of an argument.

It is rarer still when those on the losing side double down and wait for more of the same.

That is the case with the conviction last week of Penn National horse trainer Murray Rojas in Pennsylvania, as widely covered in the Paulick Report.

For anyone who might have missed it, Rojas, 51, of Grantville, Pennsylvania, was convicted last week by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania of 14 felony counts of misbranding prescription drugs on race day and conspiracy.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, the crimes involved Rojas directing veterinarians to administer drugs to her horses on race day in violation of track rules and state law.

Furthermore, Dr. Mary Robinson, the acting director of the Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology and Research Laboratory (PETRL), an RMTC-accredited lab that conducts drug testing on all Pennsylvania racetracks, testified that the lab did not have tests for certain drugs and that it did not test for every drug every day.

For supporters of uniform and independent anti-doping testing, this is yet another sad confirmation of all that we have been contending for several years. Lax control at the state racing commission level, the ability for trainers and equine practitioners to flaunt and game the system for years on end without penalty or at least meaningful punishment, and the blind eye turned by regulatory officials, veterinarians, track owners and horsemen's associations all made this episode inevitable.

Shawn Smeallie

For those resisting real reform of racing's broken anti-doping system, this should be a loud wakeup call for you. Federal prosecutors are always looking for a prosecutorial blueprint. You can be sure that word of these convictions has spread throughout the U.S. Attorney community.

Cheaters now must realize and think long and carefully about breaking rules when the punishment will be hard time in a federal facility rather than the usual slap on the wrist from a friendly state regulator.

Trainers and vets – is that a risk you are willing to take?

We have seen what happened in the Rojas case. We are naïve to think it is not happening in other areas.

So, we can continue to let one-off law enforcement deal with it, which is likely to happen now given the magnitude of this situation, or we can enact a real uniform program to deter this behavior so that our sport survives and thrives.

A safer bet would be the implementation of a new model of medication regulation. That could be best achieved if all horse racing stakeholders support H.R. 2651, also known as the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017, recently introduced by Reps. Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY).

The bill would establish an independent horse racing anti-doping authority with responsibility for developing and administering a nationwide anti-doping program for all of horse racing.

That authority would be created by the independent United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), a non-profit, non-governmental agency that has a proven track record of creating uniform standards for drug testing and performance enhancing drugs for our Olympic athletes.

USADA would create the Horse Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority (HADA), which would be overseen by a board of directors composed of USADA appointees and horse racing industry appointees and would have exclusive jurisdiction over anti-doping matters for all of racing. Nothing more, nothing less.

Why should owners, trainers, veterinarians, racetrack operators, regulatory officials and horsemen's associations support this bill?

The brazen nature of Ms. Rojas' crimes and the conspiratorial nature of the network that enabled her and her equine practitioners will be just too inviting not to pursue in other venues.

Anyone who enjoys or participates in this sport should welcome this sea change. But trainers who cheat often or occasionally should be extremely worried. The broad brush of justice can and will sweep up all levels of sinners.

A joint USADA/industry HADA is the most logical approach, and, unfortunately, the only one that has any chance of working.

I know this will work, because I have seen it work before.

In the 2000s, athletes and trainers in track & field, cycling and swimming knew how to cheat without detection, and the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), which had responsibilities to both market and regulate those sports, faced the dilemma of prosecuting some of sport's most high-profile athletes.

Fortunately, leaders of the Olympic movement realized that something had to be done, and for the good of the sport, they acted.

USOC courageously allowed the creation of an independent anti-doping organization – USADA – and gave it anti-doping authority over all USOC-recognized sport national governing bodies, their athletes, and events.

Basically, the USOC willingly gave up control, and they have not looked back.

As a result, within a few short years, USADA became the anti-doping gold standard of the world, and U.S. athletes are now considered far and away the cleanest in the world.

Detractors of H.R. 2651 often ask, “Why would we want to invite the federal government into our world?”

If we're being honest, we already have. The industry currently survives totally and completely on the Congressional gift of the Interstate Horseracing Act.

Fortunately, under the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017, the federal government will not be funding HADA, or be actively involved in HADA's day-to-day activities; it will only mandate HADA's existence and provide very limited oversight. As a stand-alone private entity, HADA will be the single rulemaking and enforcement authority for all of U.S. horseracing.

But there is another aspect of government involvement that the industry definitely does NOT want to encourage: prosecutions by the Department of Justice. That is unquestionably the worst kind of federal involvement. That is the current wolf at the door.

Unless the last holdouts for anti-doping reform – trainers, equine practitioners, state commissioners, racetracks – get behind the Horseracing Integrity Act, the industry will get more of the same: bad headlines, ruined careers, and further reputational drag on the industry.

The warning shot has been sent. Congress, which will soon consider the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017, will no doubt take notice of this case in Pennsylvania and it will make lawmakers more likely to act.

It would be far better to follow the lead of the USOC and embrace a workable solution than to have one thrust upon us.

We should all support this legislation for the good of the sport.

Shawn Smeallie is executive director of the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity, a broad-based alliance of organizations seeking the adoption of a national, uniform standard for drugs and medication in horse racing. He has extensive experience on Capitol Hill, the Executive Branch, and in the private sector and has worked on defense, trade, energy, tax, and environmental issues over the course of his 20 years in Washington, D.C. He was born and raised near Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and has owned Thoroughbreds in various partnerships through the years.

  • Peter Scarnati

    Since Mr. Smeallie appears to undoubtedly be a Washington insider, I have one question.
    Eight years ago there was a similar clamor for the Federal government to “fix” the health insurance mess in this Nation. In short order, we had Obamacare foisted upon us.
    Mr. Smeallie, how has that worked out?

    • Peter, I hope your negative comment has more to do with your lack of understanding of the bill and less to do with trying to make a leap from simple oversight to a massive Federal program. The government is required to use its standing to appoint an organization to oversee legal and illegal use of drugs in racing, not to provide the vast array of elements encompassed by the Affordable Care Act.

      • Peter Scarnati

        Perhaps you are correct Barry, only time will tell. In my years of experience, government has ALWAYS stepped way beyond what it has intended and/or promised to do. I don’t see why this would be any different. The notion that the Feds can/will fix anything should ALWAYS be taken with the utmost caution and skepticism. Past history is usually a pretty good indicator on things like this.

      • Big G

        dear Barry , as a fellow owner, why racing cannot police itself has behooved me for years , why racing has not protected itself and the welfare of the thoroughbred , just leaves me speechless at times on some of things I read about that has been done to the great sport of thoroughbred racing weather it drugs, race fixing, neglect, and all the other social ills you read about in racing .. nothing is being done to fix the issue’s ,, do we really want or need goverment in racing ? this trial in pennslyvannia from what I read sounds like A who’s on first scene from abbott and costello , may the racing gods help us all ….

        • Mama Ann

          I don’t like the idea of the government being involved either but this industry will not step up and govern themselves. A lot of people who serve on various boards own racehorses. How effective are they when something is being investigated and it is either their trainer or a good friend? This should be a time for the industry leaders to take the bull by the horns and have all the bright minds get together and set something in place before the government does.

    • Charles Smith

      Obamacare is far from perfect but it has worked out pretty well for the previously uninsured with pre existing conditions….in a life saving way. I’m not a big fan of federal outreach, but there are times when nothing less will do. Penn National is not the only track where chicanery takes place on a daily basis. Maybe some clocker at another track who sells works will take note of this outcome and decide the risk is’nt worth it. Maybe some trainer juiceing horses in Louisiana or Florida or California will decide the risk of getting tagged with 14 felonys and getting their life ruined is too great to take. For the first time in a long time I say BRAVO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. USADA, I hope you’re next to get involved.

      • gus stewart

        Agree completely with those thoughts from health-care act to fed government intervention. Dont think we are popular with those opinions on this blog lol.

        • Larry Ensor

          It is with me. Had the same experience. I’m a realist, with horses also.

          A little tip passed from a friend in the healthcare bussiness. If you have a high deductible and in all probability won’t use it/max it in a given year. When checking in for what will most likely be low dollar care, don’t tell them you have insurance. That $2,000 procedure for someone with insurance will become a $1,000 or less procedure for someone that is paying cash. If it should be over your deductible then tell them, Oh, I forgot I do have insurance.

      • Peter Scarnati

        Fact is Obamacare has hurt way, way more people than it has helped. In my case, I pay over $1,200 a month for family coverage and have a $5,200 deductible. With a deductible such as this, unless myself or a family member has a catastrophic health event (God forbid), I really don’t have insurance at all. All the money I have spent in the past several years for medical-related care hasn’t exceeded my annual deductible — hence, in the real world, I am paying $14,400 for absolutely nothing. Hardly what I would call “far from perfect.” Frankly, it’s an American disgrace what the Feds have done to the health insurance industry.
        Previously uninsured people have mostly been simply transferred to Medicaid, which (a another huge Federal wasteland of a program, BTW) is the worst of the worst type of insurance. Those with pre-existing conditions don’t really have “insurance” at all. In their case, it’s like getting homeowner’s insurance after your house catches fire — hardly a real world solution, which, by the way, is unsustainable in the long run.
        My one and only point for all those who have willingLY and enthusiastically lined up for the Feds to “solve” racing’S medication disgrace, I would only say: Be careful what you wish for. Especially if you think the Feds can “fix” anything!

  • john

    Need a federal response because there will always be some state cheaters here with no incentive to change the status quo, especially in states with low purses.& since these horse races are simulcast al over the country, this involves interstate transactions which brings in the feds….can’t claim its only a state thing.

  • Sampan

    Having worked for a similar independent dope testing agency in another country I
    totally agree with Shawn Smeallie and the passing of the Horseracing Integrity
    Act of 2017 including Horse Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority (HADA).
    You must have an independent horse racing anti-doping authority with
    responsibility for developing and administering a nationwide anti-doping
    program for all of horse racing.
    Dr. Mary Robinson, the acting director of the Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology and
    Research Laboratory (PETRL), an RMTC-accredited lab that conducts drug testing
    on all Pennsylvania racetracks, testified that the lab did not have tests for
    certain drugs and that it did not test for every drug every day. Your whole
    system is a mess, just look at the fact the lab was advising vets what drugs
    they were not testing on any given day, absolutely disgraceful.

    • Well stated.

    • lastromntribune

      the fact the lab was advising vets what drugs
      they were not testing on any given day, absolutely disgraceful….NOW …THAT PEOPLE IS TRUE COLLUSION.

      • Hamish

        According to reports of testimony in Rojas trial that was the case. So, to start catching cheats with drugs that had previously passed the test, all the lab may have had to do was change the days on which certain drugs were tested or not? What a surprise to the juicers that must have been when the positives started rolling in!

    • Michael Infurna

      Why even collect a sample from a horse and send it to the lab if the lab does not have a test for every drug? Every sample collected should be analyzed. If the PA lab did not have tests for certain drugs, the samples should be sent to other labs that do.
      My question is who knows at the racetrack what drugs are being tested for post race and if the State lab has a test for all of the illegal performance enhancing drugs being administered? It seems the vets have more information than the horseman or officials from the track.

  • Condor

    Cheaters beware. Lets hope testing labs world wide get a wake up call from this. I often wonder if labs check that racing authorities have acted on positive results just in case theres a bent official shelving pozzie tests.

    • Sampan

      There is already many labs world wide that have a federally administered system.
      The USA does not.

      • Condor

        What about ireland and the uk? I think there samples are sent to Hong kong or France.

        • There are labs in Hong Kong very thero, from the US there are some export import hoops to jump through due to blood / tissue (biological material)
          Japan for instance if you ship semen (other breeds) the same criteria aplyes as if you where shipping a horse, granted that is a bit different than a blood sample but that’s the idea. Ireland and other country’s have direct export/import. That was the deal a few years ago. Tests are more In depth and a bit cheaper

          • Condor

            Cheers for the reply but my question was for example if a lab in Hong kong found a sample tested positive to say EPO do they ever check that somebody was sanctioned in the country it came from or does there duty of care end at sending the result back. I know samples are bar coded so they wouldnt know names but theres no point paying for tests if an authority or crooked official is covering up the results the lab sends back. Bribing an official has got to be easier than beating the test surely.

          • They only report,
            the viles are number Coded at the time they are drawn. the lab has no knowledge of the horses or trainers name
            that is crossreferenced by the racing officials and people being people mix ups do happen. It’s at this point manual process

          • Sampan

            There is 2 parts of the label once the test is completed.
            One part of the label attached to the sample contains only the track name, date and sample number. The rep for the horse and signs the tag and initials the seal as a witness on the sealing of the container. The box is locked, sealed, and delivered via courier to a federally regulated official lab for analysis.
            The horse’s name and other identifying information, cross-referenced to the sample number, is retained by the chief test inspector in a locked cabinet.
            If a positive occurs, the lab notifies the head of the federal agency with the
            details of the positive. The head of the agency sends the regional federal representative with the lab half of the label with the positive test, indicating track name, date, and sample number. A meeting is arranged with the chief test inspector. The test inspector opens the envelope with the label tags for that race day and starts to remove the seal covering the other half of each label number on it. When the number is matched the commission is notified by the head of the federal agency of the positive.
            The commission would visit the trainer’s barn, advise of the positive and do a barn/vehicle search.

          • That seems to be a much better process. What county?

          • Sampan

            With all due respect, I don’t want to highlight countries, jurisdictions or names. I just want to bring up how a federally run system works, which is what this post is all about..

          • Thanks

          • Sampan

            Your welcome.
            You have some idea of the a concept of the system and I responded.

          • Old Timer

            You don’t think that happens in the US now on a state by state basis??? It does lol! A lot of times they don’t inform the trainer they have a positive, the commission just shows up and does a search of the barn.

            There’s no extra adjudication by having the feds involved since you obviously don’t even know how it works now…

          • Sampan

            I’m not talking about your USA system.
            I’m stating how a federal system is used.
            The present USA system is broken.

        • Horsesfirst

          Condor. You are talking trash. The UK and Ireland have excellent labs.

          • Condor

            Talking trash?! I was asking a question.

  • Get real

    Let’s not forget, the lab at New Bolton is who feed the info to the vets to know what they were testing for.

    • Hamish

      That doesn’t seem appropriate, does it? During the time period of the Rojas crimes, who called the test results a “positive”, the lab technician, the racing commission, the Department of Agriculture, or some other person/agency?

  • Get real

    Why is she the acting director? Where is the director that was in charge during this at now? O, that’s right he’s in charge of usef testing Lab.

  • Richard C

    When the Feds come calling….the old boys’ club near the afternoon winner’s circle and the backstretch wink-n-nods are no longer currency to make “problems” disappear.

    • Tinky

      Precisely.

  • bill landes

    Exactly what is wrong with DOJ prosecution??? I always felt people would pucker if they were greeted with “I’m Agent X from the FBI or Assistant Attorney General X and I’d like to talk to you about……..”

    I’m wavering on my anti-Federal intervention stance.

    • Larry Ensor

      “I always felt people would pucker if they were greeted with “I’m Agent X from the FBI”

      Being someone who got a call that started like that. Yes it does rate very high on the sphincter factor scale. Like 11. And I had no idea what the call was about, wasn’t hiding anything, no skeletons in the closet. At least non that FBI would be interested in or the police in general.

      Turned out to be an agent that was investigating the shame horse rescue Another Chance Four Horses. That was also receiving grants from the industry. A horse that we had bred and sold ended up in a bad situation with these thefts. She was brought to our attention and I was livid after having to pay a bunch of money to get her out of hell’s jail.

      I sent the complete story and the horrific pictures of her condition to the Blood Horse and TOBA. Explaining how the industry needs to get a handle on this nonsense and the multitude of shame rescues that are popping up everywhere because it was becoming big business. And will become another black-eye for racing. Received a short reply from the Blood Horse saying “we’ll look into it”. Nothing from TOBA. A year or so later it was front page News after the feds got involved and filed charges.

      • Call from a federal vet…. Same pucker factor

        • Larry Ensor

          yup, lol

      • billy

        Remember the story well brian moore is still at it and Idk how in the world he gets away with it I believe he owns the lebanon livestock auction and has his own horse sales once a month piece of trash that guy boy when we meet face to face

        • Larry Ensor

          It was called Moore’s Menagerie. He calls it something else now. Guess the bad press that associated him with AC4H necessitated a change. The two came up with “broker, buyers program” or something like that. Showed pictures of pitiful horses that need to be “adopted” asap or they were being shipped to Canada for slaughter. Yea right who ships half dead, bag of bones horses to Canada to be bought for slaughter?

          What they were doing was starving healthy horses to look pitiful to play on the bleeding hearts of the world. A pitiful horse gets a lot more attention than a healthy looking one. The “adoption fee” was over $600. The filly I mentioned came off the track in late March. I picked her up in late June looking like death.

          I saw a post by someone on FB touting Moore’s new operating model, name. What a great guy he is. I doubt my comment explaining the facts, background lasted long.

          • billy

            I’m not sure what it’s called now either, but I’m aware of all of it including your own story, guy can’t be but 20 min max from me and there’s nothing I can do about this crap and most people are freak in blind to it so I will maintain what I said before, nothing makes me angrier larry

  • Equalizer524

    Yes, because Washington does everything so well. Post Office, IRS, ObamaCare. I’m all for clean racing, but THADA/USADA would become an unaccountable behemoth with unlimited ability to assess “fees” on racehorse owners – most of whom run for modest purses – and with no input from veterinarians, owners or breeders. I know it’s popular for the Ruling Class and the Do-Gooders to tout this bill, but it’s a “wish” masquerading as a solution.

    • David Rollinson

      Even a WISH is better than the status quo.

  • GregT

    The ban on Lasix will mean a lot of horses headed to Europe, and not to race.

    • its post time

      exactly!! I’d give my horse something just so he could not be eaten!

    • BILL CASNER

      I have raced my horses for the past 7 years without lasix and we have had less than 5% bleeds. Our horses are always closing ground or maintaining a forward position. They pull up well and are in the tub. We often run back in 2 weeks without the “bounce” (a phenomena since the advent of lasix induced dehydration). Bleeding is a result of microbes, dust, pollen and other contaminants the cause inflammatory airway disease. Manage your barn effectively using, anti-microbial fogging and low dust bedding and you will reduce respiratory issues that precipitate bleeding.
      Dehydrating a horse prior to strenuous exercise is counter intuitive to all exercise physiology–its robbing Peter to pay Paul.
      Bottom line–I have a moderate racing and breeding operation that runs as a business (selling horse pays for the runners). Our win percentage has not changed since we stopped using lasix and my horses run more often, recover quicker, and stay sounder. For me it is the right thing to do for my horses and my business.

      • Sampan

        If the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017 including Horse Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority (HADA) is passed your stable may even be in a better position to do well. Those that presently race on the needle will fall behind or fail.
        Stay the course and continued good racing in the future..

        • BILL CASNER

          Thanks for all of the support from those above. I truly feel that the HIA 2017 Bill before congress is our only hope of ever bringing our sport back to its stature it held prior to 1985. The world has changed and the new generations have no tolerance for what they perceive as abuse and medicating horses to race falls into that category in their eyes. HIA can be the beginning of bringing fans and participants back to an incredibly beautiful sport.
          For those who think that doping is a minor problem, I suggest they read “Wheel Men”–the chronology of Lance Armstrong’s rise and how USADA was the only organization that had the resolve to prove that he was cheating. The sophistication of drug cheating in racing is off the charts and the rewards are huge at the highest level. A parallel would be the bank robbers of the 30’s who operated with impunity with local law enforcement. It wasn’t until the Feds came in with the FBI that they were strongly curtailed. The same will happen when you have a true professional organization that USADA will structure that has the expertise and resources to pursue the cheaters.

          • Sampan

            I really appreciate seeing your comments by someone with a lifetime of experience and longtime vested interest in horse racing.
            Let’s hope the HIA Bill 2017 is passed soon.

      • billy

        Your a great man Bill, it’s all about the horses the way it should be the problems in the horse racing world would virtually disappear if every person looked after the horse like you do and I mean that 100 percent be well keep fighting for the horse they need it

        • billy

          And I might add the way you’ve mentioned your horses run it is quite impressive while conceding 20 30 40 lbs lasix among other things is a crutch for poor horsemanship imo

        • Minneola

          Hi billy! I see that you hold Mr. Casner in the same high place that I do. I still remember how he rehabilitated Well Armed. How many trainers would have had the patience to do that? I judge people on what they do rather than just what they say. Mr. Casner’s life is filled with actions that inspire. And, yes, can you imagine what the world of horse racing would look like if all of the owners and trainers were the Bill Casners of this world?

      • Minneola

        Thank you for contributing your perspective of this. When I think of those that I have learned to respect in the sport of horse racing, your name is the first on that list! Just extremely disappointed that there isn’t everyone in this sport that has your outlook.

      • If 5% of horses can’t races because they need Lasix, but the other 95% can race twice as much because of less dehydration, doesn’t that mean more opportunities for owners and larger field size for gamblers? Sounds like a huge win win situation.

    • Big G

      did you mean air france ? or you own a ham sandwhich ?

  • DanM

    Would HADA establish the criteria for Therapeutic Use Exemptions ? That has the potential to be a loophole which could cause the new oversight to be ineffective.

    The USADA has it’s own problems. Read about how Ajee Wilson had her 800-meter record taken away.

  • gus stewart

    This sounds like it could seriously work with a few adjustments. The things that hit the nail on the head or in this case the future of horse racing are the words, participants of race tracks, state commisionars, trainers, but left out owners. Unless you get the ownes to agree and accept the super trainers who have given them a huge advantage, will no longer be winning at a higher prrcemtage. Besides maiden races, you have to win races to really have any chance of being profitable or losing a little or breaking even. Then you will have to find a way of rebranding the sport to attract other people to become owners. Also removing the private vets would certainly make this endeavour cheaper from the standpoint of less testing if you know what these guys have in their truck. So im all for it sounds good but lets understand even after this case in Penn, this business and its leaders have found a way to do biz as usual. That being said, it certainly is now on the radar to many since mr pauluck has given us the facts and not smoke and mirriors. This sport has needed a house cleaning and a new look in rebrandind itself to the 2017 world of sports fans and just people who love horses and their beauty.

  • Elliott ness

    After at least a million words, this chain of events may be a portal to clean racing in the states. The poor horse may have a chance to lead a synthetic free existence. Hope it carries to the auction houses.

  • its post time

    Wont be long before the USDA will be inspecting horse meat again for human consumption… everyone talks about other countries.. what do you think they do with a bleeder?

  • gus stewart

    The most refreshing thing about this situation is just listening to rau and scott call out some prople in this that say one thing out of one side of their mouth and the bs drips out ot the other side. People take notice if your not employed by a race track, go to the racing office go to an exec walking around the track, and tell them do something about the biz and sport or i will continue to be a ahole everytime i come here. i called the guy ray spoke in video about the bs artist a stroke,, could of used j..k off. Its great to me that a guy indirectly employed by this sport ray has the ba..s to be honest

  • Really?

    I think the vast majority of horseman would welcome this if it wasnt being used as a vehicle to ban lasix. More research is required so we can help our horses without it if that’s possible. How about separate the two totally different issues?

  • Sampan

    *Screening is the initial phase of testing conducted by a chemist to detect evidence of prohibited substances in an official sample.
    *Confirmation is the next phase of testing in which a chemist conducts further tests to confirm the presence of a prohibited substance that was suspected in the
    screening phases.
    *Different types of tests are used for different drugs and medicines.
    *Broad-range tests are applied to every sample.
    *Various types of target or special tests are used to screen for drugs and medicines that are not detected in broad-range screening.
    *Target tests are used on a random basis. Many samples are saved and stored for
    additional monitoring and a more analytical process is used.
    .

    Lance Armstrong’s testing has nothing to with this issue.
    He had permission to use other drugs because of a disease.
    That is not and would not be aloud in horse racing.

    • Petra G Fischbach

      Your definitions (or quotes?) are nice, but how do they relate to the statement you made? You said: “Your whole system is a mess, just look at the fact the lab was advising vets what drugs they were not testing on any given day, absolutely disgraceful.”

      What I said was that USADA doesn’t have all the answers, and their system is not perfect. Lance Armstrong getting convicted years after his doping took place is one piece of evidence to support that statement. The EPO / blood-doping he was doing is not a therapeutic use exemption.
      Your allegation that a lab is feeding information to vets to help them avoid positive tests is ludicrous at best, and slanderous at worst. Please understand that racing labs deal with a number of therapeutic medications that have legitimate use in horse and labs are expected to provide guidance to help prevent inadvertent violations. Big difference between that and feeding information on which doping agent can be used…….

      • Sampan

        You need to follow the case from the beginning and read about the unethical actions of veterinarians involvement with the lab.

  • affirmed

    Thanks Paulick Report and to Shawn Smeallie, for making this article and for your service of giving Horse racing enthusiasts great reading articles..I support all the proposals as presented by you..it’s about time that someone steps up to the Plate and either do one of both things.. example fix things and or break things.I truly support whatever new organizations and Testing for Race Horses ..apparently whatever jurisdictions are in place, there is no transparency! however whatever… new rules should show the dopers,, that they either put out, or stay out! meaning they put out the drugs, burn them in the fire, and stop paying all those Labs designer drugs to enance Race Horse speed etc.. that to me is stupid.. reasons are …so many…., however one of my main reason saying this drugs thing is stupid , why drugs a Horse you paid 450.000.00 for then if he or she needs drugs.. upon the amount of money you paid already for him/Her then you are a fool.If I were to purchase a race Horse say a 2yr old, in training, and paid 500.000.00 for him, all that he should do is win, however it’s going to be tough to totally eradicate the drugs used in race Horses,there are too many different variations on certain drugs, and too many hide and seek loopholes, and even the best Horse man will find those loopholes so apparently this drugging thing have been around since they invented the drugs, and their testing was not as advanced in those times, and because everyone was trust worthy and believed in good responsible trainers, they only started finding these drugs since the inception of Lasix/Salix, although there always a few in those times using Bute, etc.. but not as prevalent as today’s Racing State Wide! anyway enough already , I dont worry about those guys anymore, they have destroyed the game in the drugs department, however the game survives, as People do love Horse racing, it’s the racing and competing, and Betting that’s holding it up…, but the right people can fix it, how to do this? well tell the world you will end all drugs administering to race Horses, and do it..no apologioes.

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