I'll Have Another Trainer Doug O'Neill Facing 6-Month Suspension
I'll Have Another might be busy getting ready for the Belmont Stakes and a quest for Triple Crown immortality, but his trainer Doug O'Neill could be facing a six-month suspension, according to the San Bernardino Sun.
In 2012, O'Neill trained a horse named Argenta that was found to have elevated total carbon dioxide levels in its blood as a result of performance-enhancing drugs.
Update: Thursday, May 24 at 8:07 p.m. ET
The Associated Press is reporting that O'Neil will be suspended for 45 days beginning on July 1. The California Horse Racing Board levied the punishment on Thursday, which also carries a $15,000 fine.
The report says that the California Horse Racing Board will meet on Thursday to discuss the incident in question with hearing officer Steffan Imhoff. A source close to the situation told the Sun that O'Neill is likely to be granted a stay that will allow him to train I'll Have Another through the Belmont Stakes.
O'Neill faces up to a six-month suspension, which one source close to the situation said is what he will get following a 30-day stay that will allow him to train I'll Have Another for the Belmont Stakes on June 9.
O'Neill faces penalties ranging from a 90-day suspension and $5,000 fine to a maximum of 180 days and $15,000. There's also a chance the board could sway away from Imhoff's decision and alter the penalty or not issue one at all.
This is not what horse racing needed right now. I'll Have Another is the first horse since Big Brown in 2008 to win both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and will look to become the first since Affirmed in 1978 to win the Triple Crown.
O'Neill has denied any wrongdoing, even going so far as to spend $250,000 in legal fees fighting these charges, according to the report.
We will keep you updated on the situation throughout the week as more information becomes available.
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