05/08/2007 12:00AM

Ontario commission drops EPO case


The Ontario Racing Commission will not proceed with its case against Woodbine-based owner and trainer Ken Parsley, who had appealed a 10-year suspension and $100,000 fine.

An investigation last year by the racing commission found that Parsley had acquired several illegal drugs and banned medications, including a synthetic version of erythropoietin, or EPO, which boosts the production of red blood cells. None of Parsley's starters tested positive for any banned substance.

Parsley's penalty was announced Dec. 1 after the commission issued a proposed order to suspend Parsley's license immediately.

At an appeal hearing on April 26, however, the commission elected to call no evidence. The ruling was released Monday.

John Blakney, executive director of the commission, said that Parsley had said in the original investigation that he had purchased or been given illegal medications from an unauthorized source.

"All we had was his voluntary statement admitting to the acquisition of Aranesp, and that he had discarded it," said Blakney

Aranesp is a brand-name, synthetic erythropoietin.

The decision mirrored a similar case involving a Standardbred trainer and driver, Pat Hudon, when the commission ruled in Hudon's favor on appeal, saying that the only evidence was a voluntary statement by Hudon. Based on that background, the commission felt it had to follow suit with Parsley, said Blakney.