Trainer Aparna D. Battula has been summarily suspended by stewards at Monmouth Park in New Jersey after she was determined to be in possession of 30 hypodermic needles and syringes and more than 80 vials of injectable substances.
The ruling, issued on Friday by the New Jersey Racing Commission after an Aug. 3-4 hearing, said Battula, “by her own admission, did possess in her occupied premises on the grounds of Monmouth Park,” the prohibited items, which were confiscated and “a number of the injectable substances sent for analysis.”
The ruling said possession of the needles, syringes and injectable substances by Battula is in direct violation of a number of rules and regulations, “including but not limited to N.J.A.C. 13:70-1.15 (acts detrimental to racing) and 13.70-14A8(a) 1, 2 (possession of drugs or drug instruments).
“Due to the nature and seriousness of these violations, all New Jersey Racing Commission licenses issued to Aparna Battula are hereby suspended immediately as of today, Aug. 9, 2019,” the ruling states. “Said suspension shall continue until such time Ms. Battula appears at a hearing before the board of stewards, which will be scheduled once the confiscated items have been analyzed and the results reported to the New Jersey Racing Commission as this investigation is ongoing.”
The ruling says the suspension shall run concurrently with the remainder of a 15-day suspension Battula is currently serving as a result of a dexamethasone positive. Sassy Chub, trained by Battula for Nick Surick Stable and Bamond Racing Stable, was disqualified from a second-place finish at Monmouth Park on May 19 after testing positive for dexamethasone.
Battula, a native of India, started out as a jockey in the United States after attending the North American Racing Academy in Lexington. She won with 27 of 340 mounts from 2011-'13, then switched to training horses in 2015 after suffering an injury while riding. Battula has won 7 of 75 career starts as a trainer, including 3 of 25 this year while racing primarily in New Jersey.
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