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Lawyers defend Justify after drug testing scandal



(WYMT / WKYT) – Update 9/12
On Thursday, Bob Baffert's lawyer defended the coach and the winning horse after Justify reportedly failed a drug test weeks before the Kentucky derby.

Justify, ridden by jockey Mike Smith, wins the 150th run of the Belmont Stakes., Photo date: June 9, 2018 / Photo: ZUMA Press / (MGN)

WKYT sister station reports that a solicitor Denn Baffert says the response to the New York Times report is exaggerated.

"There was no deliberate administration of any kind of justifiable substance, in this particular case there was no fraud," said Craig Robertson, a lawyer.

The California Horse Racing Board rejected the case behind closed doors, although in other cases horses were disqualified.

"There are a lot of unanswered questions here, and judging a hurry, even though sometimes you feel good, rarely takes you to where to land in order to understand what actually happened," said Mary Scollary with Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.

Baffert's team claims Justify was exposed to scopolamine while eating horse food. According to industry experts, scopolamine can contaminate hay and straw used for horse feed. Experts say they would not give it to horses.

"I think the possibility of adverse events is much greater than any potential for beneficial events," said Scollay.

In a statement, Baffert said, "Justify is one of the best horses I've been trained to do, and one of the best of all times by any standard, I'm proud to stand by his and my record."

His lawyer says Baffert did not do anything wrong.

"Horse racing remains a tremendous sport, and Mr. Baffert remains one of the leading figures in the sport with character and integrity," Robertson said.

According to industry experts, medications such as scopolamine are not prohibited because they give horses an advantage, but to ensure the safety of horses on the track.

Original story
Justify won the Triple Crown in 201

8 and became one of only two horses in the 21st century to win them. However, the New York Times reported that Justify failed a drug test several weeks before the first Triple Crown race, the Kentucky Derby. The failed drug test took place on April 7, 2018 in Bob Baffert's Triple Crown winner horse.

The Times reports that the California Horse Racing Board made a series of decisions behind closed doors when it tried to drop the case and become lighter. The penalty for any horse that was found to be the forbidden Contains substance to which Justify tested positive. "

Justify was said to have tested positive for the drug scopolamine after winning the Santa Anita derby, which is said to boost a horse's performance." The failed drug test would, according to The New York Times, be a disqualification and prize, as well as the Kentucky Derby

Instead, the New York Times stated that the California regulator had waited three weeks to notify Bob Baffert that his horse had failed the test. "Four months after the positive drug test," the board disposed of the investigation during an executive session in camera. "They alleged that Justify had eaten contaminated food and may have become infected with scopolamine.

For more information on this case, see the New York Times article here .


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