NY Times story on doping (and overtraining) in horse racing.
Specifically it focuses on a single trainer, Doug O'Neill, who's had multiple infractions for dosing his horses yet keeps on coming back and keeps on winning. Made me think of the many team doctors in cycling that bounce from team to team, untouchable and almost invisible.The racing industry has come to realize that lax regulation and the absence of meaningful punishment have fostered a culture where top trainers with multiple drug violations are more the rule than the exception.
[One of the sport's top horse owners who trains with O'Neill] said none of his horses were involved in O’Neill’s drug violations. He said that O’Neill had insisted to him that he does not cheat with his horses, and that he takes the trainer at his word.
“Doug races a lot of horses, and I think the numbers catch up to him,” Reddam said. “I don’t think illegal drugs are rampant in his barn. Horse trainers, like people in all sports, look for whatever edge they can to win. Everyone thinks the other guy is doing something.”