11/10/2015 5:28PM

Sedlacek awaits penalty after admitting he administered illegal substance

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Roy Sedlacek, the New York trainer who was summarily suspended after two of his horses tested positive for a rare and synthetic illegal drug, testified during a Tuesday hearing into the positives that he had administered a substance to the two horses on race day that he thought contained an illegal drug even if it was not the drug that regulators ultimately detected, according to officials with the New York Gaming Commission who attended the hearing.

Sedlacek, who has not responded to messages left on his cell phone, testified that he administered an oral substance to the two horses approximately three hours prior to post time, when it is illegal for a horse to be administered anything but food and water, according to the officials. Furthermore, Sedlacek said that he was under the belief that the substance, which he obtained from a website, contained “ITPP,” the acronym for a powerful performance-enhancing substance that is extraordinarily difficult to obtain but that is often inaccurately listed as an ingredient in products with highly dubious claims most often obtained from Internet companies.

Sedlacek, who was not represented by an attorney at the four-hour hearing, will remain barred from all racetrack grounds while a hearing officer prepares a report recommending a penalty based on Tuesday’s testimony. An attorney for the gambling commission has said that the commission would recommend a five-year suspension.

Sedlacek, who has three wins from 17 starts this year, was suspended last week after the two horses tested positive for AH-7921, an exotic, manufactured opiate with morphine-like properties. The horses tested positive after finishing first and second at races at Belmont one week apart in October. The drug is considered a Class 1 substance, with no therapeutic or medical benefits to a horse and a high potential to impact performance.

AH-7921 was first manufactured in the 1970s and quickly dropped off the map, but it has begun to resurface in synthetic forms of recreational drugs, mostly for human use. Sellers of equine supplements have often been known to dip into the markets for synthetic drugs for their own concoctions, many of which do not contain substances that are known to improve a horse’s performance. Sellers of equine supplements are not regulated.

A review of several Internet sites did not turn up any products that specifically listed AH-7921 as one of the ingredients. A list of the ingredients for an oral product called ITPP Paste offered on the website of a notorious Internet supplement seller, horseprerace.com, could not be found.
The positives for AH-7921 were the first to be found in horse racing for the drug, which is illegal in several countries. If the drug has a morphine-like effect, it would act as a powerful painkiller for up to seven hours while also acting as a mild stimulant, at least to a horse, according to drug-testing officials. (In humans, morphine is a powerful painkiller and sedative.)

While officials with the gambling commission did not provide concentrations for the drugs in the two horses’ post-race samples, Dr. George Maylin, the head of the New York drug-testing laboratory that detected the drugs, testified during the hearing that he was confident that it was administered on race day. Following Maylin’s testimony, Sedlacek admitted to administering the oral substance to the two horses prior to their races, the officials said.

Following the announcement of the positive findings, the Association of Racing Commissioners International issued a notice to U.S. drug-testing laboratories to be on the lookout for AH-79