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Multi-year suspensions handed down in PA

April 04, 2014
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The Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission (PHRC) has reached an agreement with two trainers whose horses tested positive for the blood-boosting drug darbepoetin (Aranesp) last May after racing at Harrah's Philadelphia. Trainers Chastity L. Dege of Seaford, Del., and John Wagner of Centerville, Md., were originally fined $5,000, suspended for five years, and the purse money earned by the horses was to be returned and redistributed.
 
The PHRC reduced the suspension part of the penalties for Dege to three years and to Wagner to four years, and kept the $5,000 fines and loss of purse intact.
 
Dege, of Seaford, Del., had the positive test on the horse Youregonnamissthis, who won a $14,000 purse race in a lifetime best of 1:53.1 on May 18 at Harrah's Philadelphia and then tested positive. The horse was owned at the time by Mark R. Howard of Federalsburg, Md.  Wagner's positive test came with H Hall, who finished second on May 4, 2013, at Harrah's Philadelphia. The third-place finisher in that race was trained by Dege and was placed second in the $16,000 purse race with the final ruling.
 
Dege's suspension began on Oct. 14, 2013, and will end on Oct. 12, 2016. Wagner's suspension commenced Nov. 18, 2013, and will end on Nov. 16, 2017.
 
The amended penalty for Wagner also included additional note in the ruling "that this is a LAST CHANCE AGREEMENT and any future positive drug tests will result in the indefinite revocation of Mr. Wagners PA racing license."--harnessracing.com
 
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