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Trainers Exonerated From Aminorex Charges

Published: July 4, 2008 6:30 pm ET

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In a release late this afternoon, the Ontario Racing Commission announced that trainers Annette Lorentzon, Karen Cooper, Mitchell Sahely, Garry Merner, George Peters and Kenneth Duncan have been exonerated from Aminorex charges.

The following transcript of ORC Chair Rod Seiling was taken from the release.

THE CHAIR: There was no evidence presented to the Panel. Therefore, it is unable to make any determination with respect to the certificates of positive tests for all six appellants.

Mr. Van Niejenhuis provided an explanation to the Panel essentially stating that emerging science was such that the Administration was unable to prove the link between the positive certificates and the 12 requirement of Standardbred Rule 9.09 (b); that being that the drug was administered.

Giving further credence was Mr. Todd's reference to Standardbred Rule 9.02.01, pointing out that had the Hearing proceeded there would have been ample evidence to the contrary.

Therefore, on the basis of common agreement, one: All six appeals are allowed. Two: The order of finish and purse distribution remains as ordered by the Judges and as agreed to by the six appellants and whosoever they represent. That disposition is a function of Standardbred Rule 9.13.

The basis of this decision is that the horses did race with a prohibited substance; source unknown.

The Panel notes that the Administration, throughout the Aminorex issue, conducted itself to the highest standards by ensuring due process for all concerned given its mandate under the Racing Commission Act in protecting the public interest and the health of the horse.

As well, the Panel commends the ORC Judges for exemplary conduct in a most unique and difficult situation.

Regarding the publicity of the whole issue, at the end of the day, transparency and responsibility have proven to be the best course of action in achieving a just and fair result.

The form of the Order will be decided by the Executive Director. Thank you.

To view the ORC ruling, click here.

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