Australia linked to US drug scandal

POSTED ON  |  12-03-2020

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Australia has been linked to American racing’s doping controversy, with two alleged drug dealers accused of supplying EPO for the administration of horses competing Down Under. Mother-daughter pair Sarah Izhaki and Ashley Lebowitz were both charged with "engaging in a scheme to distribute misbranded and adulterated performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) for administration to horses competing in Australia, the Middle East, New Jersey and the Southern District of New York."

In the 79 page indictment published on the United States Department of Justice website, the Grand Jury charges accuse Izhaki and Lebowitz of being suppliers of PEDs, most notably EPO.

It is alleged they obtained the drug from a Mexican-based company which was operating without a licence to import drungs into America.

Other allegations include the duo offering masking substances, which Izhaki referred to as “The Devil”. Masking substances are used to help hide traces of drugs from detection during testing. "You put it in the horse, you can use coke: it will come back negative," she allegedly said.

The allegations levelled at Izhaki and Lebowitz form part of a larger widespread doping scheme, which has seen two prominent American trainers among those charged for using PEDs on race horses.

Trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis are listed as defendants among nine other trainers, seven veterinarians and nine drug suppliers or distributors in connection with the activity according to indictments released on Monday by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

It’s alleged across four separate indictments that individuals engaged in a “widespread, corrupt scheme by racehorse trainers, veterinarians, PED distributors and others to manufacture, distribute, and receive adulterated and misbranded PEDs and to secretly administer those PEDs to racehorses under scheme participants’ control.”

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