Four harness racing trainers whose horses were involved in blood-doping allegations by The Red Mile have sued the Lexington racetrack for defamation.
In-depth testing done at the trainers’ request determined in December that the four horses were negative for the performance-enhancing drugs erythropoietin or darbepoetin.
The four trainers — Jan Johnson, Robert McIntosh, James Arledge and Joseph Seekman — filed a civil suit Monday against The Red Mile, contending the track did not follow Kentucky Horse Racing Commission protocols for providing for tests to confirm the initial results.
The suit alleges unspecified damages, including the $1,500 per horse cost of follow-up testing, lost entry fees when the horses were not allowed to race again, potential lost purses from those races, and attorneys’ fees.
Red Mile president and chief executive Joe Costa could not be reached for comment.
The trainers’ attorney, Tom Miller of Lexington, said Tuesday that all they really want is a public apology and the testing costs repaid but that they have been unable to get any response from the racetrack. Kentucky.com >>
Well, their feelings might be hurt, but what about what it does to the horses?
It is said to be a big problem in harness racing. The drug Erythropoietin (EPO for short) is described on the Harness Racing Blog about its use in Canada:
There is a drug of choice used by some horse racing trainers. Not every horse trainer in the business just the ones with a nefarious intent to defraud the betting public and steel purse money from their associates.
The drug is called Erythropoietin or E.P.O, a blood doping agent that accelerates the horse’s ability to produce red blood cells by the thousands. Red blood cells are the oxygen carrying component in the blood stream needed to increase the horse’s stamina and speed. In some animals a drop of 4 to 5 seconds over the distance of a mile isn’t an unrealistic figure. Both speed and stamina are highly sought after by theses cheating trainers, the scourge of the industry, in order to obtain the so called racer’s edge.
The article continues:
It’s a fact; this drug is being used in Standardbred horse racing. The association’s governing body in Ontario, the Ontario Racing Commission has caught and convicted at an alarming rate numerous trainers using this deadly lethal drug on their equestrian athletes.
Some O.R.C. officials and horsemen might question the word alarming but in this authors opinion more than one convicted individual is alarming and the term alarming is subsequently elevated to a higher level by the inconceivable fact that this drug kills horses.
That’s right sports fans, kills them dead and to top it off the drugs effect doesn’t allow them a quick and timely death like the electric chair or a lethal injection of sodium cyanide, no sir, it demands the animal rot away from the inside out like a self induced cancer. Its liver and kidneys shutting down over a period of weeks or months most times prolonging the pain, agony and suffering till finely the only relief found is when the horse takes it’s final breath. Brutal or what? Harness Racing Blog >>