Report: Why The FBI Managed To Get Evidence Racing Investigators Couldn’t

Last month’s federal indictments of several trainers, assistants, veterinarians and others for drug misbranding as part of a horse doping scheme has raised the question for many fans of the sport: why did it take the FBI to do a serious investigation on cheating in racing? Where were the horse racing investigators?

Daniel Ross, writing for Thoroughbred Daily News, examined the current status of investigations in horse racing regulation, and revealed some significant challenges.

Of course there is variability in technology track to track — Santa Anita is known for its extensive system of surveillance cameras, but other facilities aren’t set up to easily house such a system, even if they could afford it. An significant budget is also needed to pay staff to watch the footage for suspicious activity.

Then there’s the relative lack of trained investigators. Experts Ross consulted suggested their jurisdictions were understaffed, and expressed concern that many existing investigators are close to retirement age, with few younger investigators coming up the ranks. It’s difficult to find the right person for the job, even if a jurisdiction has the money to hire more. There’s the question of familiarity; someone with too much career involvement in racing may run the risk of losing objectivity. By contrast, an investigator with law enforcement experience but no racetrack experience can miss things due to a lack of familiarity with track culture or medication regulations.

Even with better technology and increased staffing though, racing investigators don’t have the power and resources the FBI does. It’s clear from the indictments that much of the federal government’s evidence in the current case came from wire taps, which racing investigators can’t do. The FBI is also able to operate in secrecy, which some investigators may not be permitted to do.

Read more at Thoroughbred Daily News

The post Report: Why The FBI Managed To Get Evidence Racing Investigators Couldn’t appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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