A TOP racehorse trainer caught with ’21 loaded syringes and 18 needles’ during a raid has been hit with a two-year ban.
Richard Vega, who has more than 1,100 winners and career earnings in excess of £14.1million, was subject to a large-scale search at Parx racecourse in Pennsylvania, US.
Top US trainer Vega has been hit with a two-year ban following a raidCredit: facebook
A filled IV bag and an IV catheter were also discovered during the search, say paulickreport.com.
A board of stewards said the objects were found in a locked room belonging to Vega.
But Vega’s lawyer Alan Pincus claims the room was used by several trainers and not kept locked.
The ruling did not state what substances had been found in the loaded syringes.
Vega was suspended by emergency order in late May but the period of his ban runs from June 29 this year to June 28, 2023.
The trainer has not saddled a horse since May 19 – but it has not yet been determined whether or not he can continue to train while his appeal is processed.
Vega was caught up in a huge raid on the racecourse carried out by state investigators.
Six barns and tack rooms, six external rooms and five grooms’ quarters were all searched, and 66 out-of-competition tests were carried out.
Racing boss Tom Chuckas said: “A significant amount of contraband was discovered dealing with medications, either unlabeled, compounded, or expired.
“I regret to say that there were contraband items that have no business on the backside, like needles and syringes and some other things that we discovered.”
State rules mean only licenced vets are allowed to carry needles and syringes.
But Pincus said: “My client’s due process was horribly violated and Mr Chuckas made comments saying there was nothing of any substance found.
“As soon as the judge makes a ruling I will have plenty more to say.”
Vega moved from Cuba to the US in 1980 and has been a licenced trainer since 1992.
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