Justify Failed a Drug Test Before Winning 2018 Triple Crown

Justify Failed a Drug Test Before Winning 2018 Triple Crown

Justify Failed a Drug Test Before Winning 2018 Triple Crown

Rather than filing a complaint and holding a hearing, nothing happened until August 23, four months after the failed test and two months after Justify had completed his Triple Crown run by winning the Belmont Stakes. Last October, after Justify had wrapped up the Triple Crown win, the Board lightened the punishment for horses caught for using scopolamine.

The New York Times reports 2018 Triple Crown victor Justify tested positive for the banned performance-enhancing drug scopolamine on April 8, 2018 following his win in the Santa Anita Derby. Justify tested positive for scopolamine after winning the Santa Anita Derby on April 7, 2018. In the mid-1990s, fines issued to five trainers in California over scopolamine positives were rescinded after the trainers attributed the presence of the drug to jimson weed.

Four months after Justify became the 13th Triple Crown victor, the board threw out the drug test all together, citing that the test could have been the result of the horse eating jimson weed, which is known to contain high levels of scopolamine. Justify's trainer Bob Baffert was reportedly told about the drug test nearly three weeks after it happened.

"There was no way that we could have come up with an investigative report prior to the Kentucky Derby", he said. He said that the amount found in Justify's system - 300 milligrams - via documents obtained by the Times indicated that its administration was intentional. "We weren't going to do that". Members of the board, including chairman Chuck Winner, reportedly own an interest in horses trained by Baffert.

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Baffert was found to have administered thyroid hormone thyroxine to the horses despite there being no evidence of hypothyroidism that the hormone is meant to treat. "It was within their right to do so".

However, the New York Times alleges the CHRB did not follow its usual process of "filing a public complaint" on the matter and "made a series of decisions behind closed doors" to drop the case.

Justify was estimated to be valued at $75 million after securing the Triple Crown.

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