The world of sports is a multi-billion dollar business. There is never a shortage of events to watch from the NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL and even after there's plenty of other incredibly popular sports like Golf, Nascar and we now even have E-Sports. One of the oldest sports in existence today though is horse racing. Recently a federal court case reached its conclusion with sentences being passed for individuals involved in a doping case for horse racing. Two of these individuals happen to be Orange County residents.

Saratoga Racetrack
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Details of the Case

Louis Grasso, a veterinarian from Pine Bush and horse trainer Richard Banca of Middletown were arrested, charged and sentenced for the roles they played in this doping scandal. A third individual, Rene Allard of Canada was also arrested and charged respectively. The charges against the Grasso and Banca were "felony drug misbranding and adulteration charges" to which they pleaded guilty.

Grasso was sentenced to 50 months in prison, Banca received 30 months and Alard received 27 months. The sentences were announced in Manhattan Federal Court by U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel. After the sentencing, Damian WIlliams, the U. S Attorney for New York's Southern District...

Illegally doping racehorses is animal abuse in the service of greed...Such corruption threatens the health of racehorses and undermines the integrity of the sport.

Saratoga Race Course Opening Weekend
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Case Details Continued

It was stated that doping horses in professional horse racing has become quite the issue and even rampant "at all levels" of the sport. This is even more of a problem when you consider that horse racing is a sport that is a heavily bet on sport. Using PED's or performance enhancing drugs to increase any horses performance in a race could drastically alert results for the race at hand, therefore altering the wagers placed.

Prosecutors stated that for his role in the scheme, Grasso aided corrupt trainers in being able to gather more than $47-million dollars in "ill-gotten purse winnings". Banca as a tra trainer was said to have made approximately $16-million by administering the drugs to the horses and covering it up by misbranding the drugs themselves.

Horse racing

In addition to the sentences passed, the court also ruled that Grasso had to pay back nearly $48-million dollars in restitution. The respective attorneys for the defendants all put forward different requests for altered ways of serving out their sentences, due to a number of different factors at play. Whether or not those requests were acknowledge or granted is unclear at this moment in time.

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