Derby winner ‘Medina Spirit’ fails drug test, officials say
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Owner of Kentucky Derby winner ‘Medina Spirit’ is fighting back after being told the horse failed a drug test.
Bob Baffert’s frustration was apparent as he tried to digest the latest positive drug test involving one of his prized thoroughbreds.
Medina Spirit is Baffert’s fifth horse to fail a drug test in a year, which the Hall of Famer vowed to fight “tooth and nail” in the latest doping scandal for horse racing and arguably the sport’s premier trainer, AP reports.
Flanked by his attorney Craig Robertson in a morning news conference at Churchill Downs on Sunday, Baffert said his barn was told that Medina Spirit was found to have 21 picograms of the steroid betamethasone, double the legal threshold in Kentucky racing, in a postrace sample.
“I got the biggest gut-punch in racing, for something I didn’t do,” he said.
Betamethasone is the same drug that was found in the system of Gamine, another Baffert-trained horse who finished third in the Kentucky Oaks last September.
Baffert denied any wrongdoing and said he did not know how Medina Spirit could have tested positive. He said Medina Spirit has never been treated with betamethasone and called it “a complete injustice.”
“I don’t feel embarrassed, I feel like I was wronged,” said Baffert, adding that he was going to be transparent with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
“We’re going to show them everything. One thing about it in California, everything is documented every day what the horse gets. This horse was never treated with that. He’s a great horse, he doesn’t deserve this. He ran a gallant race.”
Baffert said his camp received the word of the positive test from Kentucky officials on Saturday. Baffert said Medina Spirit has not been officially disqualified from the Kentucky Derby, though that still could happen after other tests and processes are completed.
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