"This is a case of innocent exposure and not intentional administration," Baffert said in a statement. "The extreme sensitivity of modern day testing can now pick up trace levels of innocent contaminants that have no effect on a horse. This is an issue that regulators of horse racing need to account for and address."
Baffert's ban will begin Aug. 1 and go through Aug. 15.
Baffert's horses, Charlatan and Gamine, tested positive for lidocaine after winning races at Oaklawn Park. The positive test cost Charlatan's owners $300,000 and Gamine's owners $36,000. Baffert says he plans on filing an appeal.
According to Baffert, the horses were exposed to lidocaine when assistant trainer Jim Barnes placed a pain patch on his back. Lidocaine serves as a masking agent in horses.
"The trace levels of lidocaine found in both Charlatan and Gamine would have had no pharmacological effect, much less a performance-enhancing one, on either horse. Zero," Baffert’s attorney, W. Craig Robertson, said. "This is a case of innocent exposure and not intentional administration. A suspension of Mr. Baffert and a disqualification of either horse is completely unwarranted."