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Racehorse trainer Bob Baffert has been suspended by the New York Racing Association.
Baffert's horse, Medina Spirit, won the Kentucky Derby but tested positive for a banned drug.
Baffert denied that he drugged his horse and later said ointment caused the positive test.
Racehorse trainer Bob Baffert has been temporary suspended from the New York Racing Association, after his horse, Medina Spirit, tested positive for a banned steroid.
Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby on May 1, but then the horse tested positive for the steroid betamethasone. The drug is legal as a therapeutic, but testing positive on a race day is a violation.
"In order to maintain a successful Thoroughbred racing industry in New York, NYRA must protect the integrity of the sport for our fans, the betting public, and racing participants," New York Racing Association (NYRA) president and CEO Dave O'Rourke said in a statement. "That responsibility demands the action taken today in the best interests of Thoroughbred racing."
The length of Baffert's suspension will depend on the results of an investigation into the Kentucky Derby. For whatever time period the suspension lasts, the NYRA won't accept entries or provide stall space to anyone employed by Baffert's stables at three courses: Belmont Park, Saratoga Race Course, or Aqueduct Racetrack.
The move also prevents Baffert from entering any of his horses at the upcoming Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the triple crown of horse racing.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is awaiting a a second positive test - called a "split sample" - before rendering a final ruling.
Baffert has had a string of doping scandals: Five of his horses have failed drug tests since 2019. Illegal doses of betamethasone were also found in Baffert's horse Gamine, who finished third in last fall's Kentucky Oaks. The horse was then disqualified after the test, and Baffert was fined $1,500.
After Medina Spirit's drug test, Baffert denied giving the horse betamethasone, and even said the horse was a victim of "cancel culture," during an appearance on Fox News. But two days later, Baffert said the test results likely came from an anti-fungal ointment that was applied to Medina Spirit prior to the race.
On Sunday, Baffert issued a public apology for his initial response to the negative news about his horse.
"I acknowledge that I am not perfect, and I could have better handled the initial announcement of this news," Baffert said. "Medina Spirit's Kentucky Derby win was so personally meaningful to me, and I had such a wonderful experience on May 1 at Churchill Downs, that when I got the news of the test results, it truly was the biggest gut punch I had ever received and I was devastated."
Read the original article on Insider