Three Maryland Trainers Suspended

Three Maryland-based trainers have been fined and suspended after horses in their care tested positive for Winstrol (Stanozolol), according to Maryland Racing officials.

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The use of Winstrol was common in horse racing till a few years ago. This synthetic anabolic steroid derived from Dihydrotestosterone was prescribed by veterinarians to improve muscle growth and bone density in animals. Winstrol was also prescribed previously to enhance the production of red blood cells and stimulate the appetite of debilitated or weakened animals.

Injectable Winstrol has a half-life of approximately 24 hours while Oral Winstrol has a half-life of approximately 9 hours. Thirty-five times more potent than Methyltestosterone as an anabolic agent, Stanozolol is only one-fourth as androgenic as Methyltestosterone and is commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders  to lose fat while retaining lean body mass during "cutting or leaning out" cycles.

A ban of more than a year has been imposed on Pimlico-based Hector Garcia and Scott Lake, who runs one of the most successful barns at Laurel Park, received a ban of 120 days. The trainers named were Scott Lake, Hector Garcia, and A. Ferris Allen and it was revealed that all three trainers ran horses that tested positive for Stanozolol in races at Laurel Park in December and January. Hector Garcia also had a horse test positive for the sedative Xylazine and will be banned from training in Maryland until March 2016.

A. Ferris Allen received the lightest penalty — a $1,000 fine and a 30-day ban with 15 days suspended if he is not found committing another violation over the next three years. Garcia received the maximum penalty for all as he had three horses test positive for Stanozolol and one for Xylazine between early December and mid-January. Lake had two horses test positive for Stanozolol in December and faces a longer penalty as he also had a horse test positive in Pennsylvania last year.

Garcia and Vasquez were served with papers demanding them to vacate the grounds of MJC-owned properties within two weeks, said Sal Sinatra, the vice president and general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. He added the message being delivered is clear and remarked we absolutely want to impress upon trainers that we are trying to clean things up and that we are dead serious about this. He also commented that we will not tolerate this kind of behavior and will come after those who are found to have broken the rules.

The Maryland Jockey Club general manager also said they are almost making a mockery of the penalties. He remarked Juan transfers horses to Hector's name and Juan's wife is the attending vet and now you have Juan coming off his days on the 13th and the plan was to switch the horses back to his name and added that it was just easier to tell them to go somewhere else rather than continuing the charade.

Maryland Racing officials announced that all horses that tested positive were retroactively disqualified from their races and purses will be redistributed based on the new results.

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