A horse trainer has been suspended from racing in New Mexico for 21 years and fined $23,000 after four horses he trained tested positive for an exotic, potent painkiller.
The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/PLFEnR) that the New Mexico Racing Commission recently announced sanctions against Jeffrey Heath Reed, whose five first-place finishers in May 25 qualifying races tested positive for the drug dermorphin.
Dermorphin, said to be 40 times more powerful than morphine, is derived from the skin of a tree frog native to South America. Like other painkillers, it can be used illicitly to mask an injured horse's pain, but at the risk of a catastrophic breakdown.
Two of Reed's horses also tested positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid that can build muscle.
Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.