Prosecutors Charge 27 People in Horse Racing Doping Scandal

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Federal prosecutors in New York have charged more than two dozen people for allegedly illegally doping racehorses.

A group of 27 people, including trainers and veterinarians, are accused of participating in the scheme. According to charging documents, the operation was "orchestrated to manufacture, distribute and receive adulterated and misbranded PEDs and to secretly administer those PEDs to racehorses."

Participants "manufactured, sold, shipped, delivered, received and administered at least thousands of units of PEDs."

The defendants ran horses at tracks in New York, New Jersey, Kentucky, Ohio, Florida and the United Arab Emirates, according to prosecutors.

Authorities said participants in the fraud misled government agencies, including federal and state regulators, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, various state horse racing regulators and the betting public.

Jason Servis, the trainer of Maximum Security, was charged with administering performance-enhancing drugs to that horse and others. Maximum Security crossed the finish line first at the 2019 Kentucky Derby before being disqualified for interference and has since won four of his five high-profile races.

In the indictment, Servis is charged with giving Maximum Security a performance-enhancing drug called SGF-1000, recommending it to another trainer, and conspiring with a veterinarian to make it look like a false positive for another substance. The other trainer, Jorge Navarro, is also among those charged.

Maximum Security on Feb. 29 won the world's richest race, the $10 million Saudi Cup.

Servis is alleged to have given performance-enhancing drugs to “virtually all the racehorses under his control.” He entered horses in races approximately 1,082 times from 2018 through February 2020, according to authorities.

Trainer Jorge Navarro is accused of "[executing] this scheme by using PEDs designed to evade drug tests, physically concealing containers of PEDs, physically concealing containers of PEDs and drug paraphernalia from state regulators and racing officials."

Prosecutors allege Navarro gave PEDs to one of his most successful racehorses X Y Jet, who died at eight years old in early January. Navarro announced in a statement at the time that X Y Jet died of a heart attack. The racehorse earned more than $3 million in purses in 26 starts, with his biggest win coming at the 2019 Dubai Golden Shaheen Stakes.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.