Indictments Unsealed In The US

Published: March 9, 2020 01:16 pm EDT

On Monday, March 9, the United States Department of Justice announced the unsealing of multiple indictments relating to members of the horse racing industry.

The announcement revealed the unsealing of four indictments which have collectively charged a total of 27 individuals with 'offenses relating to the systematic and covert administration of illegal performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) to racehorses competing across the United States and abroad.'

The announcement further states that the indictments each allege the shipment and administration of adulterated and misbranded PEDs designed to secretly and dangerously enhance the racing performance of horses beyond their natural ability.

The announcement can be read in its entirety here. Copies of the indictments appear further down in this story.

Later on Monday, Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson commented on the situation. His comments appear below.

While today’s news is very disappointing, it’s a necessary development and further evidence that horse racing requires a higher level of coordinated regulation across all North American jurisdictions. It’s also a strong statement that the use of performance enhancing drugs will not be tolerated. Hopefully this permeates through the industry and changes the culture at all levels of horse racing. While Woodbine Entertainment was not specifically involved in this investigation, we are extremely supportive of all efforts to eradicate cheating and the use of PEDs in our sport. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this investigation. Even though the vast majority of trainers do not use PEDs, it’s important that we all work together for the betterment of horse racing and the welfare of our horses.

United States Trotting Association President Russell Williams has also issued a comment on the situation. The contents of his comment appear below.

The U.S. Trotting Association has been cooperating for several years with official investigations, several of which now have reached the indictment stage in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

“Having worked in the criminal justice system some years ago, I’m acutely aware of the presumption of innocence that applies from indictment through trial,” said Russell Williams, USTA President. “At the same time, it’s essential to the administration of justice and to the health of our industry for anyone with knowledge of possibly illegal activity to cooperate with law enforcement authorities. It is imperative that our sport is conducted fairly and with integrity.”

In his official statement, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman states that “the care and respect due to the animals competing, as well as the integrity of racing, are matters of deep concern.”

We fully concur.

The USTA will continue to monitor the situation, but as a matter of policy regarding all pending legal proceedings, will have no further comment.

Copies of the indictments appear below.

Click this link or view the PDF that appears below.

Click this link or view the PDF that appears below.

Click this link or view the PDF that appears below.

Click this link or view the PDF that appears below.

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