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Horses Viagra: Racehorses given drugs to increase speed, $40K fine for trainer

Two race horses running on the track together
Two race horses running on the track together
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Horses given Viagra by their trainer in order to increase their speed on the racetrack has landed the cheating trainer with both suspension time and a hefty $40K fine this week. A man from New Mexico, John Stinebaugh, is charged with giving his racehorses a concentrated Viagra ingredient in an attempt to make them as fast as possible. The Inquisitr reveals this Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, that the man now faces serious suspension time and possible criminal charges for the foul act against these animals and for violating the competition's policy.

The four horses offered Viagra was not part of a secret attempt to increase the animals' libido, but instead their capabilities on the racetrack. New Mexico horse racing officials declared a public statement recently that trainer John Stinebaugh had given at least four horses the disbarred drugs in 2013. The animals tested positive back in July for an active ingredient often found in the erectile dysfunction medicine, Viagra.

Now, the racing commission is asserting that Stinebaugh will be facing severe punishment for the crime. He will be receiving a total of four mandatory suspensions (amounting to the number of horses testing positive for the Viagra drug ingredient down in Ruidoso Downs) from racing, which amounts to no less than 16 years. He is also charged with a $40K fine, and will need to give up no less than an addition $8K in his personal racehorse winnings to atone for the act.

According to the press release, the active ingredient found in Viagra that tested positive within the horses was in fact sildenafil, which has the ability to increase cardiac (heart) output. In horses, this would be able to provide them with increased speed and endurance, ultimately leading to faster race times on the whole for these competitive animals.

“That drug has no business being in a horse. It has no medicinal or therapeutic value in a horse,” said Racing Commission Executive Vince Mares.

It remains unknown whether Stinebaugh will be working to appeal the official ruling made by the horse racing commission earlier this week, though he does have the ability to fight it in the near future. Mares noted that he hopes the suspension will serve as an example to prevent future horse racers from cheating and trying to inject horses with wrongful performance-enhancing drugs like Viagra.

“It is just a more proactive approach to… the doping problem that exists in New Mexico,” he added.