Horse trainer pleads guilty in racehorse-drugging scheme

Aug 11, 2021, 2:48 AM | Updated: 3:41 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A racehorse trainer pleaded guilty in New York Wednesday to charges related to a scheme to give horses performance enhancing drugs so they perform better.

Jorge Navarro entered the plea in Manhattan federal court, where sentencing was scheduled for Dec. 17.

Navarro was charged last year along with over two dozen others in a crackdown by federal authorities on what they described as a widespread international scheme to speed up horses with drugs.

In a release, U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss called Navarro a “reckless fraudster.”

Navarro was charged in a case that resulted in the arrests of trainers, veterinarians, drug distributors and others who benefitted from horses successfully competing at racetracks throughout the country, including in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky and the United Arab Emirates.

Prosecutors said the horses that Navarro trained and doped included “XY Jet,” a thoroughbred that won the 2019 Gold Shaheen race in Dubai. The horse died last year of an apparent heart attack.

As part of his plea, Navarro agreed to pay restitution of over $25 million, reflecting winnings obtained through doping, prosecutors said.

A message seeking comment was sent to Navarro’s lawyer.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Horse trainer pleads guilty in racehorse-drugging scheme