02/16/2002 12:00AM

Nebraska trainers suspended

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - Five trainers were fined and suspended for positive drug tests for the prohibited Class 3 medication Clonidine found in horses last year at Fonner Park. The rulings, dated Jan. 31, were released Friday and Saturday by the Nebraska State Racing Commission.

Trainers David Anderson, Robert Bowman, Gordon Hansen, Larry Donlin, and Gerald Coatney received 15-day suspensions that ran from Jan. 31 through Feb. 14. Anderson, Bowman, and Hansen were fined $500 each. Donlin was fined $1,000 for having four horses test positive and Coatney received a $750 fine for the same horse testing positive on two different occasions. Purse money from nine races has been ordered redistributed.

In lieu of an additional 45-day suspension, the trainers will serve a probationary period of one year. If during that time, any additional Class 1, 2, or 3 drug violations are incurred, the trainers will be subject to a 45-day suspension, plus any further disciplinary action resulting from the new positive test.

Last spring at Fonner Park 10 horses from the barns of seven trainers tested positive for Clonidine, which is used to treat hypertension in humans. Action is pending in the case of the two remaining trainers. Veterinarians Stacy Van Horn and Douglas Brunk are scheduled to have a hearing regarding the Clonidine positives before the Nebraska State Racing Commission in early March.