Snake Venom Doping Alleged in Race Fixing Investigation
Posted by Miqe on April 2, 2007
Five horsemen were indicted March 30 in New York on charges they tried to fix races by injecting harness horses with substances designed to deaden pain or improve performance.
The investigation began in Sept. 2006 at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway following a tip from people at the track that harness horses were being injected with cobra snake venom and Epogen.
Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III said the grand jury probe began after a joint effort by the special investigations unit of the New York State Police and the New York State Racing and Wagering Board suspected horsemen were doping horses.
“We need to ensure the integrity of harness racing for the betting public,” Murphy said.
“Saratoga Gaming and Raceway is fully cooperating with the district attorneys office,” track management said in a prepared statement. “We are confident that the results of this inquiry will help ensure the integrity of harness racing in New York.”
The raceway management said none of the accused have stables or are currently racing at the track.
Epogen is used to treat anemia in people by boosting production of red blood cells. The drug can also enhance stamina by increasing the oxygen supply to muscles. Cobra venom acts as a nerve blocker to prevent sensations of pain.