Daily News Archive

Search nearly 75,000 unique Daily News articles.

Daily News Subscription

Asmussen Fined In PETA Case

Wednesday, 25th November 2015

The New York State Gaming Commission on Monday proposed sweeping changes to equine drug rules on the same day it fined top US trainer Steve Asmussen $US10,000 as a result of the investigation into horse abuse first brought against him by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) last year, reports Blood Horse. Although the NYSGC called the most serious PETA allegations against the Eclipse Award-winning trainer "unfounded," regulators are acting quickly to move ahead with major rule changes they said are intended to protect both horses and the sport's integrity. The fine imposed on Asmussen stems from the administration of thyroxine, a hormone made from the thyroid gland, within 48 hours of a race in violation of drug rules. Three other PETA allegations against Asmussen or his team were valid, but the agency said they were not commission violations. The NYSGC said that ten other more serious allegations by PETA involving an investigation the organization conducted in secret during the 2013 Saratoga meet were unfounded. They included claims that a jockey that rode for Asmussen's stable used an electrical device, and that the stable used pain-masking drugs and raced horses with injuries. "While the troubling allegations of the PETA investigation were largely unfounded, our extensive review and other considerations have prompted the commission to put forth substantial changes to further combat the entrenched drug culture in horse racing," NYSGC executive director Robert Williams said in a statement. Asmussen's lawyer, Clark Brewster, criticized the NYSGC for fining his client without a formal hearing implying that he was denied procedural fairness. "Wouldn't it be nice to have some due process?" said Brewster, who believes it's the first time anyone in the racing industry has been fined for using thyroxine. "It is not a drug. It is a hormone. It's not listed in any way as a drug or hormone that you cannot use." The NYSGCs full report can be viewed here.

« Previous
Return to
25th November 2015 News
Next »