December 4, 2022

Baen Scriptions

The Health Maniacs

Director of equine drug testing lab tangled in Medina Spirit lawsuit

The director of New York’s equine drug tests laboratory is preventing subpoenas in a case related to Medina Spirit’s disqualification from the 2021 Kentucky Derby. (AP Image/Jeff Roberson, File)


The director of the mainly state-funded laboratory that handles drug testing for New York’s horseracing marketplace is resisting subpoenas in a lawsuit stemming from Medina Spirit’s disqualification from the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) is trying to compel Dr. George Maylin, director of the New York Condition Equine Drug Tests Lab, to flip more than resources associated to testing he was asked to perform on urine samples from Medina Spirit, as a non-social gathering in a lawsuit submitted by legendary trainer Bob Baffert.

How Medina Spirit’s samples landed in Ithaca, NY

Virtually a week just after the 2021 jogging of the Kentucky Derby, the initial horse throughout the finish line, Medina Spirit, examined favourable for betamethasone, a steroid banned for use on horses shut to race working day. As is ordinary course of action, screening of a split sample also confirmed the acquiring and Medina Spirit was disqualified and stripped of the title.

In June of very last calendar year, Medina Spirit’s trainer and owner, Bob Baffert and Amr Zedan respectively, sued the KHRC, arguing that additional tests should be authorized on the remaining urine samples from the horse.

At the coronary heart of Baffert’s argument is a claim that Medina Spirit’s constructive test was the result of making use of a topically used ointment termed Otomax, which also includes betamethasone.

The Kentucky courtroom granted Baffert’s team’s request to send the remaining urine sample from Medina Spirit to New York’s Equine Drug Screening Lab in Tompkins County. Baffert’s team exclusively asked for the samples be sent to New York’s lab.

The court get also stipulated that Baffert and Zedan go over the price tag of delivery the urine samples to Ithaca through a non-public airplane.

“It is my impression that the getting of betamethasone in the formal A and B samples gathered from Medina Spirit by the KHRC following the 2021 Kentucky Derby resulted from the topical administration of Otomax and not an injection of betamethasone”, Maylin wrote in court docket paperwork presenting his summary.

In a different a person-web site letter with regards to his conclusions, Maylin wrote that his conclusions were being partly based off a exploration review he was conducting involving organic signatures affiliated with the administration of Otomax. Maylin managed the analyze was unrelated to his perform screening the Medina Spirit samples. He later on wrote that he had began the analysis research prior to the managing of the derby in 2021.

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission wishes more

Soon after Maylin offered his conclusion, the KHRC asked for extra evidence to again his getting, which include documentation into the research job and its origins. In accordance to courtroom information, the commission tried using to attain an arrangement to depose Maylin, which fell apart when he declined to be interviewed in-human being, ostensibly due to problems about COVID-19. In the meantime, Maylin sent the KHRC a information pack with the facts of his investigation of the sample, but refused to develop other files.

At the request of the KHRC, the Kentucky court formally subpoenaed Maylin to create supplies linked with the research study, and any communications or financial agreements with Baffert’s crew.

“Since Dr. Maylin varieties the foundation of Mr. Baffert’s most important affirmative defense, every doc sought by the Fee in its subpoena should be generated,” KHRC wrote in its request that Tompkins County Supreme Courtroom enforce the Kentucky subpoena. “In particular, Dr. Maylin ought to make all files relating to his unpublished ‘research challenge,’ which kinds the foundation for his statements that his laboratory can detect betamethasone valerate in horse urine. These documents will deliver further more proof demonstrating regardless of whether Dr. Maylin’s novel, unpublished techniques are in good shape for introduction at listening to.”

KHRC also bundled in its lawsuit in Tompkins County two testimonials from equine drug tests endeavours contacting Maylin’s conclusion into query.

After the lawsuit was filed, Maylin agreed to sit for a deposition by using video clip meeting.

“Can I go back again to my working day work now?” Maylin requested in direction of the conclude of a nearly a few-hour deposition, according to an excerpt introduced in court documents.

Maylin nonetheless refuses to launch any of the other documentation specified in the subpoena.

“Said exploration challenge is irrelevant to the assessment of Medina Spirits urine,” Maylin wrote in a assertion accompanying his deposition. “KHRC chooses not to copy my function from the remaining sample continue to out there in my lab, but has made the decision to harass me with needs for “raw data” it knows from its own skilled it is not entitled to. The Defendant-Petitioner would relatively discover a multitude of approaches, to exclude my perform item and testimony apparently since it is effective to the Plaintiffs.”

Maylin also managed that he had no make contact with or economic dealings with Baffert’s team.

Legal professionals for Baffert defended Maylin’s refusal to hand over the paperwork in courtroom.

Brad Maione, communications director for the New York Gaming Commission, declined to comment on the situation simply because it’s pending litigation. The gaming commission is not a bash in the fit.

“It would not be ideal for us to remark,” Holly Liapis, SUNY Press Secretary reported, citing the point that Maylin is not a SUNY staff.

The Equine Drug Testing Laboratory is housed beneath the Morrisville Auxiliary Company, a non-revenue corporation loosely affiliated with SUNY Morrisville. The very same non-earnings operates the campus retailer and some on-campus housing models.

Track record stakes

The discrepancy over the root of Medina Spirit’s beneficial exam is not, in itself, a definitive remedy to any of Baffert’s problems. Betamethasone is banned at Churchill Downs regardless whether it roots from an ointment or an injection. The violation would also transgress KHRC’s policies, the fee maintains.

In February, the KHRC issued a 90-working day suspension on Baffert, blocking him from taking part in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Now, back on the track, the lawsuit is one particular of Baffert’s final makes an attempt at clearing his popularity.