02/10/2010 12:00AM

Massachusetts court rules in favor of trainer


The Massachusetts Superior Court has thrown out a 10-day suspension issued to trainer Sheryl Meade in 2006 for a positive for cocaine in a horse she trained, according to court documents provided by Meade's lawyer.

Judge Geraldine Hines, an associate justice of the superior court, wrote in an opinion released Feb. 5 that the Massachusetts Racing Commission failed to consider adequately scientific evidence that cast doubt on the commission's contention that the horse was administered cocaine before a race.

Meade had argued that the horse's postrace sample was contaminated with cocaine after the race because the state's racing laboratory did not detect any metabolites of the drug in the sample. Experts on drug-testing testified at the hearing in 2006 that a horse's postrace sample should contain metabolites of drugs if the horse's body had processed the drug through the liver.

"Plaintiff's expert testimony based on established scientific principles that cocaine could not have entered the body without being metabolized was sufficient" to throw out the ruling, Hines wrote.

Meade's horse, Pleasing Amy, tested positive for cocaine after a race on Oct. 9, 2006, at Suffolk Downs. Meade served the 10-day suspension after the initial stewards' ruling, according to her lawyer, Harris Krinsky.

"The paramount thing was to clear her name because of the allegations involved, that she was giving her horses cocaine," Krinsky said.