International Doping Scandal Rocks US Racing

Court papers released in the United States on Monday have revealed 27 members of the racing industry including prominent trainer Jason Servis have been charged in relation to an international doping scheme.

The United States Department of Justice on Monday issued press releases confirming 27 industry figures including Jason Servis, trainer of triple Group 1 and Saudi Cup winner Maximum Security, had been charged with a doping scheme involving horses racing at New York, New Jersey, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky and the UAE.

MAXIMUM SECURITY winning the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida.
MAXIMUM SECURITY winning the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida. Picture: (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The papers released on Monday cover numerous offences detailing the shipment and administration of prohibited drugs in order to enhance the performance of racehorses under their care.

It's been alleged Jason Servis doped a majority of horses under his care including Maximum Security who was first across the line in the 2019 Kentucky Derby before being disqualified for interference.

Another major incident related to trainer Jorge Navarro who is claimed to have doped XY Jet, winner of the 2019 Golden Shaheen in Dubai. XY Jet later died of an apparent heart attack after receiving a performance enhancing treatment.

In a statement issued in conjunction with the release of the indictments, Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman suggested the uncovering of the doping ring was "the largest ever of its kind from the Department Of Justice."

Berman's press release continued.

"These defendants engaged in this conduct not for the love of the sport, and certainly not out of concern for the horses, but for money. And it was the racehorses that paid the price for the defendants' greed.

"The care and respect due to the animals competing, as well as the integrity of racing, are matters of deep concern to the people of this District and to this Office.

"Over the course of the scheme, participants manufactured, purchased, sold, shipped, delivered, received and administered thousands of units."

The doping ring was uncovered by a joint taskforce which included both the NYPD and the FBI.

Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation William F. Sweeney Jr. held a press conference following the unsealing of the doping indictments.

"What actually happened to these horses amounted to nothing less than abuse," Sweeney said.

"They experienced cardiac issues, overexertion leading to leg fractures, increased risk of injury and in some cases death.

"Conversely, the human beings in the scheme continued to line their purses as they manipulated this multiple-billion-dollar horse racing industry across the globe. People are rightfully disturbed by the mistreatment of animals who have absolutely no means of defense."

Below are links to the full indictment papers.

Navarro and Servis Indictment


Racing and Sports