Justify juiced: Triple Crown victor failed drug test before Derby win

13 Septembre, 2019, 15:26 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Justify juiced: Triple Crown victor failed drug test before Derby win

The trainer of 2018 Triple Crown victor Justify is denying he did anything wrong after a report said his horse tested positive for a banned substance.

Baffert said Justify passed drug tests in Kentucky, Maryland and NY on the way to the Triple Crown and called on those states' testing agencies to "immediately release information related to Justify's test results" there. WinStar Farm released Baffert's statement. It reportedly decided Justify's test results could have come from eating contaminated food.

Arthur said seven horses from four different trainers at Santa Anita were found to have some level of scopolamine or atropine in their systems during the period when Justify tested positive, and he recommended that the two cases that crossed the threshold - Justify and another - be dismissed. "I'm the primary adviser on drug testing to the board, and my opinion is it would have no pharmacological effect".

The New York Times also reports Baffert was aware of the positive test before the Kentucky Derby win, and the horse shouldn't have run the race if rules were followed.

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Baffert requested a second sample be tested by an independent lab, and those results didn't come in until after Justify won.

Churchill Downs released a statement Thursday saying Justify's pre and post-race tests came back clean, and neither the track nor the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission knew of the positive test from California.

"Your article is long on sensationalism, short on facts, and does a great disservice to Mr. Baffert, JUSTIFY, and the entire horse industry", he proclaims. "I am proud to stand by his record and my own". It says the regulators didn't tell Baffert about the positive test until nine days before the Derby and also claims they moved to lighten the penalty for using that substance. "This left the CHRB with two choices - either pursue a frivolous case that had no merit at great taxpayer expense, or exercise reason and common sense and decide to take no further action". The Times reported the chairman of the California board owns an interest in horses trained by Baffert.

"We take seriously the integrity of horse racing in California and are committed to implementing the highest standards of safety and accountability for all horses, jockeys and participants", the California Horse Racing Board said in a statement.

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