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Light Drug Penalties Won't Deter US Trainers

Thursday, 3rd July 2008

Meanwhile Kentucky's Lexington Herald Leader columnist John Clay has triggered industry-wide debate with a no-holds-barred column attacking the soft penalties handed to leading trainers for repeated drug infringements. His barrage begins: "Fifteen days. That'll show him. That'll make Rick Dutrow think twice the next time he attempts to stretch his consecutive-year streak of drug suspensions/fines to 10 straight. That'll make Big Brown's outspoken trainer more careful around the barn when it comes to hypodermics & syrup bottles & which horse (wink) should get which dosage (wink) on race day. Right, babe? The sad truth about racing's newest twin set of black eyes isn't so much that the sport's 2 hottest trainers, Dutrow & Steve Asmussen, are both accused of doping, but the inconsistent rules, hypocritical rule-makers & laughable punishments that lead the public to believe, as ESPN's Scott Van Pelt put it on radio this week, that racing is a dirty sport." (For the full column, click on the direct link in THE GREAT DEBATE panel on the right-hand side of this page.)

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