First Trial In Federal Drug Misbranding Case To Begin Jan. 19 - Horse Racing News

The first trial in the well-publicized federal drug adulteration and misbranding case that focused on doping in horse racing will begin Jan. 19 in New York. Veterinarian Dr. Seth Fishman and Lisa Giannelli will be the first two defendants from the case announced in March 2020 to go to trial. A number of co-defendants, including high-profile former trainer Jorge Navarro, have entered guilty pleas and been sentenced for their role in making, distributing, or using adulterated or misbranded drugs on racehorses.

The remaining co-defendants have been broken down into three groups that will be tried together. Fishman and Giannelli are the first, while Dr. Rebecca Linke and Rick Dane Jr., are in the second, which could start in March. (Linke has already made a deal to defer prosecution.) No date has been set for the third trial grouping, which includes trainers Jason Servis and MIchael Tannuzzo, as well as Drs. Alexander Chan and Erica Garcia.

Fishman, who was trained as a veterinarian, has been accused of concocting performance-enhancing drug combinations he marketed to clients on the premise they would not test. Intercepted communications between Fishman and others revealed that he claimed he made different drug cocktails for each trainer who bought his products, so that if new drug tests detected one substance, his other clients would still be protected.

Giannelli worked for Fishman, though she disputes her role was more as a courier than a sales representative, as alleged by the prosecution.

A recent release of evidence against Fishman in court documents claims his products were implicated in a 2011 case of a horse who died after receiving an injection. It also raised questions about a connection between Fishman and his products and an official in the United Arab Emirates government connected with camels. Read more about that evidence in this story from Dec. 22, 2021.

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