Interesting comparison: doping in horse racing

Sep 9, 2009
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NY Times story on doping (and overtraining) in horse racing.

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.
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.

[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.”
 
Oct 25, 2010
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filipo said:
Made me think of the many team doctors in cycling that bounce from team to team, untouchable and almost invisible.
Makes me think of the many riders that bounce from team to team after doping infractions. As if they're untouchable.
 
May 26, 2010
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BotanyBay said:
Makes me think of the many riders that bounce from team to team after doping infractions. As if they're untouchable.
dont forget the doctors and soignuers in that group!
 
Horse racing is rife with drugs and corruption. Always has been, always will.

I started racing horses in the mid 70's. I love the horses. Amazing animals. My horses raced clean, always. I learned what others were giving their horses, crazy. Ritalin, morphine, other stuff I never heard of. And the state vets were in on it. Nobody got suspended ever.

Went to NY to get away from the crooks at gyp tracks and it was even worse there. More money, more drugs. I informed to stewards and I was given the boot. I left. It wasn't why I was in the game.

In the early 90's I decided to try again, thought things had changed, wrong, it was worse still. EPO was now being used regularly. Blocking joints. Crazy ****. I left again. I called out the industry in my state to no affect. It is what it is. I still protest the tracks but nobody cares. I love the horses is why I do it. It is so sad and it breaks my heart when I read about all the stuff still going on. All people see are the beautiful horses in the parade ring but they have no idea of the cruelty going on in the barn area.
 
Jul 13, 2009
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What infuriates me with people i know involved in the horse racing Industry in the US is how they always shield behind saying that what ever substance they are giving their horse is that it is a permitted medication. When I ask if the horse in question actually suffers from the condition that the medication treats they tend to clam up or claim that its actually being taken as a precaution in case said ailment might arise during a race.
 

Don Johnson

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May 3, 2012
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veganrob said:
Horse racing is rife with drugs and corruption. Always has been, always will.

I started racing horses in the mid 70's. I love the horses. Amazing animals. My horses raced clean, always. I learned what others were giving their horses, crazy. Ritalin, morphine, other stuff I never heard of. And the state vets were in on it. Nobody got suspended ever.

Went to NY to get away from the crooks at gyp tracks and it was even worse there. More money, more drugs. I informed to stewards and I was given the boot. I left. It wasn't why I was in the game.

In the early 90's I decided to try again, thought things had changed, wrong, it was worse still. EPO was now being used regularly. Blocking joints. Crazy ****. I left again. I called out the industry in my state to no affect. It is what it is. I still protest the tracks but nobody cares. I love the horses is why I do it. It is so sad and it breaks my heart when I read about all the stuff still going on. All people see are the beautiful horses in the parade ring but they have no idea of the cruelty going on in the barn area.
The doping in Horse Racing, Boxing, dog racing, cycling, pretty much the same.
About I wonder, which sport started doping first and do they use the same doping doctors or dope sources.
 
horses get the "flu", too

I'll Have Another, winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, suddenly comes down with an injury and withdraws from the Belmont. Just bad luck?

The New York Times reported last month that [I’ll Have Another's trainer] O'Neill has received more than a dozen violations in four different states for giving his horses improper drugs. The Times also reported that O'Neill's horses break down or show signs of injury at a rate of more than twice the national average…

With that as context, the state of New York seized control of the New York Racing Association last month and placed it under the auspices of a board appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. One of the board's first actions was to order all Belmont Stakes horses into a single detention barn at the race track, where they could be under round-the-clock surveillance and security. It was an unprecedented move at Belmont.

I'll Have Another moved into the barn on Wednesday. According to Reddam and O'Neill, he injured himself Thursday. The horse was scratched on Friday. And just like that, his career is over after seven races; he will be retired to stud duty.

The conspiracy theorists will wonder whether the heightened barn security might have curtailed any illegal practices O'Neill was using to turn I'll Have Another into a burgeoning superhorse capable of winning two legs of the Triple Crown. Theorists will conclude that when forced to train without benefit of any artificial enhancements, the horse showed he wasn't up for the challenge of winning the Belmont. Thus he was scratched to avoid the embarrassment of a race-day pratfall similar to Big Brown's in 2008.

That was the last time a horse came here gunning for a Triple Crown. Trained by Richard Dutrow, a notorious violator of medication rules, Big Brown was taken off his anabolic steroid regimen – which was legal at the time in racing – in the weeks before the Belmont. He promptly bombed, being eased by jockey Kent Desormeaux and finishing last.
If the horse was on steroids or the like, a few days without them wouldn't make much difference, though. In fact, I'm wondering what the horse might have been on that a few days would make such a difference. Or is it possible that the horse tested positive, and an injury story was used as a cover?

Still, ever wonder how the TDF would go if everyone in the peloton could be placed under similar round-the-clock surveillance?

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/i-ll-have-another-s-scratch-from-the-belmont-raises-questions.html;_ylt=AmV2g94aEH9ZFXJ.vlJ2UFM5nYcB
 

Polish

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Mar 11, 2009
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Merckx index said:
I'll Have Another, winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, suddenly comes down with an injury and withdraws from the Belmont. Just bad luck?



If the horse was on steroids or the like, a few days without them wouldn't make much difference, though. In fact, I'm wondering what the horse might have been on that a few days would make such a difference. Or is it possible that the horse tested positive, and an injury story was used as a cover?

Still, ever wonder how the TDF would go if everyone in the peloton could be placed under similar round-the-clock surveillance?

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/i-ll-have-another-s-scratch-from-the-belmont-raises-questions.html;_ylt=AmV2g94aEH9ZFXJ.vlJ2UFM5nYcB
If I recall correctly, Cipo was "put out to stud" after his retirement too. If so, some of his boys should be hitting the junior circuit before too long. How old was Basso's sister when Cipo retired btw?
 
Merckx index said:
I'll Have Another, winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, suddenly comes down with an injury and withdraws from the Belmont. Just bad luck?



If the horse was on steroids or the like, a few days without them wouldn't make much difference, though. In fact, I'm wondering what the horse might have been on that a few days would make such a difference. Or is it possible that the horse tested positive, and an injury story was used as a cover?

Still, ever wonder how the TDF would go if everyone in the peloton could be placed under similar round-the-clock surveillance?

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/i-ll-have-another-s-scratch-from-the-belmont-raises-questions.html;_ylt=AmV2g94aEH9ZFXJ.vlJ2UFM5nYcB
The trainer is a really sketchy dude as you noted. He was accused of administering "milk shakes" to his horses in Cal I believe. These are a concoction of baking soda, confectioner sugar and some other things. Ingredients are all mixed together an given to a horse with a tube through his nostril into the stomach. Been going on for at least 10 years that I know of. IT must be give within couple hours of race to be most effective.
On another note, race horses have been given EPO since early 90's that I know of as well as morphine. I know of trainers giving horses vodka and baking soda IV. They are really sick people and will abuse horses terribly.
 
veganrob said:
The trainer is a really sketchy dude as you noted. He was accused of administering "milk shakes" to his horses in Cal I believe. These are a concoction of baking soda, confectioner sugar and some other things. Ingredients are all mixed together an given to a horse with a tube through his nostril into the stomach. Been going on for at least 10 years that I know of. IT must be give within couple hours of race to be most effective.
On another note, race horses have been given EPO since early 90's that I know of as well as morphine. I know of trainers giving horses vodka and baking soda IV. They are really sick people and will abuse horses terribly.
True story. There are horse trainers at the highest levels of the sport who have rap sheets that would make folks here quickly forget about their favourite whipping-boys (Armstrong, Brunyeel, etc). Multiple violations, and suspension after suspension. None of this "never tested positive" junk, either... they do test positive, and they remain in the sport.
 
veganrob said:
The trainer is a really sketchy dude as you noted. He was accused of administering "milk shakes" to his horses in Cal I believe. These are a concoction of baking soda, confectioner sugar and some other things. Ingredients are all mixed together an given to a horse with a tube through his nostril into the stomach. Been going on for at least 10 years that I know of. IT must be give within couple hours of race to be most effective.
On another note, race horses have been given EPO since early 90's that I know of as well as morphine. I know of trainers giving horses vodka and baking soda IV. They are really sick people and will abuse horses terribly.
They have isolated and monitored the horses at the Derby since 2005. They also do testing for milkshaking before the race.

The trainer had to be under the suspicion that in New York, they might have controls like that in place possibly. They also have done surprise testing at Church Hill Downs. Belmont, dont know?

Makes one wonder though.
 
Polish said:
If I recall correctly, Cipo was "put out to stud" after his retirement too. If so, some of his boys should be hitting the junior circuit before too long. How old was Basso's sister when Cipo retired btw?
I don't know who told you you're funny, but you're not.
 
My wife was a horse person and says that race horses in particular have a gift for injuring themselves.

Seems to me we don't know either way. I'm not pretending the poor horses aren't juiced. Just that it's possible there is an injury.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Polish said:
If I recall correctly, Cipo was "put out to stud" after his retirement too. If so, some of his boys should be hitting the junior circuit before too long. How old was Basso's sister when Cipo retired btw?
legal, but before she got the sillly cones

StrongArm is a connoiseur of the dow corning type silly cones, sampled enuff at Yellow Rose.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Berzin said:
I don't know who told you you're funny, but you're not.
I laughed too. polish is definitely funnier than you are! In fact I can't think of anything you have posted that was humorous?

;)
 
May 19, 2012
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Funny? Funny how?

Master50 said:
I laughed too. polish is definitely funnier than you are! In fact I can't think of anything you have posted that was humorous?

;)
Actually he is a clown here to amuse you!;)
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Here is a 2010 article that lists him as one of the many trainers who have a rather high number of medical violations to their name while it also discusses the widespread drug problem in horse racing.

At Breeders’ Cup, a Volatile Mix of Speed and Drugs

Twice this year, his horses exceeded the threshold level for total carbon dioxide in a postrace test, which indicates a horse may have been given a concoction of baking soda, sugar and electrolytes known as a milkshake. It is administered by shoving a tube down a horse’s throat and is intended to help the animal ward off fatigue. O’Neill was suspended and fined in one instance and is awaiting a hearing on the other.

But O’Neill is hardly a stranger to medication violations. He averages one per every 807 starts by his horses, according to records compiled from the Association of Racing Commissioners International and entered in a database.


Didn't they attribute his retirement to a swollen tendon/leg problem? Could obviously be 'just a bad injury' that ends a horses career. On the other hand, if they have been pushed to and beyond their physical limits due to all these chemicals, drugs, and shakes, injuries just seem to be a logical result of that treatment.

As per the article:

The Jockey Club has pointed to multiple studies that show permissive drug rules are part of the cause of the high mortality rates.
 
How come the media is jumping all over this guy, yet Bob Baffert is some kind of untouchable golden child?

Anyway, they will earn way more in stud fees, with the mystery surrounding the withdrawal from the Belmont, to the tune of upwards of $10 million over the next many years. Likely double/triple that if he ran and won the triple crown, but we will never know.
 
zigmeister said:
How come the media is jumping all over this guy, yet Bob Baffert is some kind of untouchable golden child?

Anyway, they will earn way more in stud fees, with the mystery surrounding the withdrawal from the Belmont, to the tune of upwards of $10 million over the next many years. Likely double/triple that if he ran and won the triple crown, but we will never know.
I wonder what might have happened, had Baffert managed to bring Bodemeister to the Belmont with a chance at the Crown. Obviously that didn't happen, but my guess is that the media would focus on his heart attack during Dubai World Cup week, rather than his own extensive rap sheet. I see Dutrow high on the list... the media ripped him when Big Brown was making his run, but Dutrow was open about using steroids on his horses.

For what it's worth, Baffert took his three narrow losses pretty well. But then again he's had worse defeats (Real Quiet's Belmont, in particular!).
 

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