Thursday, April 25, 2013

The UK and America - Full Circle

Last week it was announced that one of the largest stables in the world received eleven steroid positives.

The reaction from across the pond was swift and unequivocal: It was shameful, it was a disgrace, and it was a black mark on a beautiful sport.  

In America the reaction was similar in some ways, but there was quite a bit of glee in some quarters. 'Those Brits who think they're so clean'. Aha, look at them now. Good on 'em. For those who think across the pond they act 'uppity' about their sport there, some of us one-upped them by acting not too dissimilar here.

Unfortunately for those involved in schadenfreude, this week the narrative changed again, brought about from the BHA, Sheik Mo and virtually everyone in British racing.

On April 9th out of competition testing (something some horsemen groups fight against here in North America) was started on the Goldophin barn.

Less than two weeks later, on April 22nd, the results were released, by both the BHA and by Goldophin on their website.

Today, April 25th, the BHA announced that the trainer of record is suspended eight years, and the owner cannot race these horses for six months.

In sixteen days, this whole mess has been completed. The largest stable in the world has been penalized, without any delay, or legal teams, or obfuscation. The trainer is likely out of racing forever. The owner is penalized and takes part in this mess by having his stock - worth millions - on the sidelines for a half a year. What might even be more interesting is that the shame they (and others in the spotlight) embrace for committing this wrong against the sport was palpable and real. And it is something rarely seen anywhere else in the horse racing world.

This 16 day episode allowed the Brits to lob the ball across the court again today, saying "take that Yanks".

Take that indeed.

We are separated by a quick plane flight geographically, but how we handle tough situations in horse racing shows just how far apart we are. Neither of us are perfect, not even close, but they seem to have a leg up on us, no matter how much we don't want to admit it.


2 comments:

Steve Zorn said...

What US racing needs: (1) uniform drug rules across all states -- that's in process; (2) uniform penalty standards -- effort just getting underway; and (3) reasonable due process for those accused, but a way to get them out of the game that takes less than the 26 months(!)it took from Dick Dutrow's most recent drug positive until the time his suspension actually took effect. A problem for the legal-regulatory system.

Anonymous said...

Where is Ollie Tait? Thought Euro racing was squeaky clean?