Thoroughbred racehorse trainer Jason Servis has been sentenced to four years in prison for his involvement in a scheme where horses he trained were doped with approved and unapproved drugs to enhance their performance. This sentencing comes as a result of a multi-year investigation conducted by the United States Attorney’s Office, which revealed widespread abuse of racehorses in the industry. The investigation uncovered the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) by trainers, veterinarians, and PED distributors, all with the aim of improving race performance and obtaining prize money. The sentencing of Servis sends a strong message that illegal doping of racehorses will not be tolerated and that everyone involved in the racehorse industry is subject to the law.
Thoroughbred Racehorse Trainer Jason Servis Sentenced To Four Years In Prison
In a significant development in the world of horseracing, renowned Thoroughbred racehorse trainer Jason Servis has been sentenced to four years in prison. This comes as a result of his involvement in a years-long scheme of doping racehorses to enhance their performance. The investigation into this illegal activity has shed light on the pervasive issue of illegal doping in horseracing and the serious consequences it has for the welfare of the animals involved.
Charges and Investigation
Jason Servis was one of over 30 defendants charged in four separate cases in March 2020. These charges were filed in connection with a multi-year investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York. The investigation uncovered widespread schemes by racehorse trainers, veterinarians, PED distributors, and others to manufacture, distribute, and administer adulterated and misbranded performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) to racehorses competing at all levels of professional horseracing.
Illegal Doping in Horseracing
The use of PEDs in horseracing is a serious concern that undermines the integrity of the sport and poses significant risks to the health and well-being of racehorses. By evading PED prohibitions and deceiving regulators and officials, those engaged in illegal doping schemes seek to gain a competitive advantage and increase their financial gains through the success of doped racehorses. This illegal practice not only compromises the fairness of the competition but also endangers the welfare of the animals involved.
The Role of Jason Servis
Jason Servis played a pivotal role in the illegal doping scheme uncovered during the investigation. As a prominent racehorse trainer, Servis stood to profit from the success of the racehorses under his control. By doping his horses with approved and unapproved drugs, he aimed to improve their performance and increase their chances of winning races. Servis’s involvement in this illicit activity has raised serious questions about the integrity of his achievements as a trainer and the ethical standards within the horseracing industry.
Use of SGF-1000
One of the key substances used by Jason Servis in his doping scheme was an intravenous drug called SGF-1000. Servis obtained hundreds of bottles of this drug, which was compounded and manufactured in unregistered facilities. SGF-1000 contained growth factors that Servis believed to be undetectable through regular drug screens. He administered this drug to nearly all the horses in his barn, including the well-known thoroughbred racehorse “Maximum Security” who won the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
In addition to SGF-1000, Servis regularly administered the prescription drug Clenbuterol to his horses, even though he did not have a valid prescription for its use. Clenbuterol is a substance commonly abused in horseracing due to its performance-enhancing effects. Servis went to great lengths to conceal his use of Clenbuterol from racing regulators and avoid mandatory reporting requirements. Furthermore, he obtained and transported a misbranded version of Clenbuterol from a convicted co-defendant, further compounding his illegal activities.
Sentencing and Penalties
As a result of his involvement in the doping scheme, Jason Servis has been sentenced to four years in prison. In addition to the prison term, he has been ordered to serve one year of supervised release. Furthermore, Servis is required to pay $311,760 in forfeiture, $163,932 in restitution, and a $30,000 fine. This sentencing serves as a clear message that the racehorse industry will not tolerate the endangerment of animal welfare for profit and that those engaged in illegal doping will face serious consequences.
Supervised Release and Restitution
In addition to his prison term, Jason Servis has been ordered to serve one year of supervised release. This period of supervision will help ensure that he complies with the terms of his release and does not engage in any further illegal activities. Additionally, Servis has been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $163,932, which represents the financial harm caused by his illegal actions. This restitution will help compensate the owners and investors who suffered financial losses as a result of his doping scheme.
Investigative Work and Support
The successful prosecution and sentencing of Jason Servis would not have been possible without the diligent investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation New York Field Office’s Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force. Their exceptional efforts, supported by the Bureau’s Integrity in Sports and Gaming Initiative, played a crucial role in uncovering this wide-reaching doping scheme. The investigation was further aided by the assistance and expertise of the Food and Drug Administration and Customs and Border Protection.
The sentencing of Jason Servis to four years in prison sends a strong message to the racehorse industry that illegal doping will not be tolerated. It underscores the importance of maintaining the integrity of horseracing and protecting the welfare of the animals involved. This case highlights the need for continued efforts to detect and prevent illegal doping in the sport, and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. The collaboration between law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies is crucial in safeguarding the fairness and integrity of horseracing, ensuring a level playing field for all participants, and prioritizing the well-being of the racehorses.