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Dig deep and strike hard when corruption's around

A couple of big cases in racing around the world this week. Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Richard Dutrow Jr has received a 10 year ban in the state of New York for repeated drug offences. It sounds harsh, but this is a trainer who has moved from state to state over the years, copping a lot of positive drug tests.

Dutrow receives ten-year suspension in New York

by Frank Angst

New York regulators have had it with trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.

After determining two violations occurred late last year and citing a long list of previous violations, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board (NYSRWB) suspended Dutrow’s license for ten years at its meeting on Wednesday.

“As far as I’m concerned, game over,” said NYSRWB Chairman John Sabini. “Let this be a lesson to other people in the business who have had repeated, repeated violations.”

Dutrow’s most recent problems followed a positive drug test for the pain-killing drug butorphanol in Fastus Cactus after he won the third race on November 20 at Aqueduct and the November 3 discovery of three syringes containing Xylazine, an analgesic and tranquilizer, in his desk drawer. He was fined $25,000 for each of those infractions.

While the board determined Dutrow had violated rules in both of the November 2010 incidents, it also considered Dutrow’s past violations before determining sanctions. Board member Charles Diamond said those past violations included infractions that resulted in 64 sanctions in nine states at 50 racetracks.



There is no room in the racing industry for crooks like this. It's only ever about winning, not the welfare of horses. His supporters can moan all they like about the process and his image for the sport... blah, blah, blah. Whether this process was not perfect is barely relevant - the guy should have been given the boot long ago, the message that he was breaking the rules obviously hasn't sunk in. The fact he has been able to continue training after so many infractions just shows how divided and dysfunctional US racing can be. Penalties should add up - every repeat offence gets slightly more severe, so that by the time they are looking at infringement no. 10, the penalty is getting very harsh, and penalties should be nationwide. There is no rule that other US states have to comply with the New York ruling, although it is believed that some will.

In Australia, the corruption in NSW harness racing case just keeps getting bigger and bigger.....For those unaware of Fine Cotton, read the Wikipedia page, it's an interesting tale of rank amateurism and corruption in racing. For background on the case, read an older blog post.

Corruption probe to dwarf Fine Cotton

THE ongoing investigation into alleged corruption in harness racing is set to dwarf the scale of the Fine Cotton affair of the 1980s, involving hundreds of races going back years.

Reid Sanders, the regulatory boss of Harness Racing NSW and the man in charge of a new three-man industry panel investigating the allegations, has told The Daily Telegraph the scale of the investigation was "unprecedented" in racing history.

"In my knowledge, there has never been an investigation of this nature and scale in any racing code in Australia and the world," he said.

"Fine Cotton was one race. We are dealing with allegations that some stewards were corrupt, and as a result of that there are an infinite number of people that could have been involved."

Sanders said the panel was investigating multiple races, but it was not yet aware of the full magnitude of the alleged corruption: "I can't tell you if it's one race or 500 races."

He admitted that the sheer weight of documents gathered had taken him by surprise. "I always knew it wasn't going to be small," he said. "(But) the volume of evidence we're collecting is huge. The paperwork alone would stand two filing cabinets high."



Meanwhile In the UK, the latest investigation into jockeys linked with people laying slow horses is scheduled this month but all that has been forgotten amongst all the hyperbole about the new whip rules. Spare me, it has been three days and it is not the end of the bloody world....

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