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Aminorex charges dropped in Ontario

December 20, 2007
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The Ontario Racing Commission has reportedly dropped the charges against 11 Standardbred trainers who had Aminorex positives. Thursday\'s Globe And Mail said that although the trainers have been exonerated, the horses that received the positives will remain disqualified from the races involved and the purse money will be distributed among the other horses.
According to the story, charges against trainers Anthony Montini, Jeffery Nicol, Kevin O\'Reilly, Lynn Privett, Kelly Sheppard, Ben Wallace, Rick Zeron, Jefferey Gillis, Anthony Haughan, Sandra Houghton and Mario Macri were dropped \"due to the uniqueness of the situation and evidence of mitigating circumstances.\"
In regard to the horse\'s remaining disqualfied, the decision read: \"The respective horses ran with a prohibited substance in their system and as such had in their race an unfair advantage over the other horses.\'\'
In rendering the decision, it was stated, \"We have concluded and are satisfied that the 11 licensees ... did not fall below the level of reasonable care in protecting their horses from a prohibited substance that resulted from the use of a non-prohibited substance.\'\'
Horses in first Ohio and then Pennsylvania tested positive for aminorex, but when the Ontario positives were called, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency soon found that the trainers of the horses had also administered levamisole, a sheep wormer, and determined that it could metabolize in a horse in such a way as to result in a positive test for aminorex.
When a rash of positives were called in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission put the penalties on hold while it investigated and eventually dropped the cases.
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