Vets, drugs distributors
and other trainers are all implicated in the alleged rigging of races using
performance enhancing drugs.
US horse racing has been hit by one of its biggest ever scandals
after 27 people, including the trainer of one of the world’s best racehorses,
were arrested for allegedly drugging thoroughbreds.
The multi-billion-dollar US
racing industry has long been dogged by accusations of doping to improve
performance and distorting betting odds.
Among the trainers, vets and
drugs distributors arrested is Jason Servis, trainer of Maximum Security, who
last month won the $20m Saudi Cup, the world’s richest horse race. He also
appeared to have won the 2019 Kentucky Derby, before being disqualified for
Servis is accused of doping
Maximum Security and “virtually all of the racehorses under his control”
according to the four indictments. Servis entered horses in some 1,082 races
between 2018 and last month, while another arrested trainer, Jorge Navarro,
entered horses in 1,480 races over that time.
claim horses were secretly given adulterated performance enhancing drugs
including blood builders, pain shots, bronchodilators and “red acid”
to boost performance.
Sweeney Jr, assistant director-in-charge of the FBI’s New York office said:
“These substances stimulated endurance, deadened nerves, increased oxygen
intake, and reduced inflammation.
happened to the horses amounted to nothing less than abuse. They experienced
cardiac issues, over-exertion leading to leg fractures, increased risk of
injury, and in some cases death.