Trainer John Sadler

Trainer John Sadler

Wally Skalij

Steroid Complaints Filed Against Sadler

CHRB alleges that four of his horses ran with Winstrol during Del Mar meet.

Four complaints have been filed against trainer John Sadler by the California Horse Racing Board, alleging that horses in his care ran with excessive amounts of the synthetic anabolic steroid stanozolol in their systems during the month of August at Del Mar, where Sadler was the leading trainer.

The stewards at Santa Anita Park have scheduled an Oct. 2 hearing on all four complaints.

The anabolic steroids stanozolol (which is sold under the trade name Winstrol), nandrolone, boldenone, and testosterone were deemed illegal in the state this summer by the CHRB in amounts exceeding strict regulatory thresholds. At the time of Sadler's alleged violations, they were considered Class 4 transgressions, punishable by an official warning that goes on the trainer's permanent record.

As of Sept. 4, those substances, which are the four most commonly used anabolic steroids, have been reclassified as Class 3 drugs. Their presence now results in the automatic disqualification of the horse and redistribution of the purse. Additional penalties call for a minimum 30-day suspension and a fine up to $10,000.

According to statement issued by the CHRB Sept. 20, Sadler's horses were found to have exceeded limits for stanozolol in tests of post-race urine samples screened by the Maddy Laboratory at the University of California-Davis. The findings, the agency said, were confirmed by Iowa State University Racing Chemistry Laboratory.

The four Class 4 complaints against Sadler involve the horses Soupy, who finished first in the third race at Del Mar Aug. 1, 2008; Tizsweetdreams, third in the fourth race at Del Mar Aug, 1, 2008; Chanjo, first in the 10th race at Del Mar Aug. 2, 2008; and Sunshine Ridge, first in the fifth race at Del Mar Aug. 3, 2008.

Sadler, 52, recently agreed to take a leave of absence from his post as board president of the California Thoroughbred Trainers because of negative publicity surrounding the use of anabolic steroids in his horses since they became illegal. CHRB officials reported that Sadler, who also led trainers in victories at the Hollywood Park spring/summer meet, has had 18 positives since testing began July 1.

"I tested everything (all of his horses) prior to the Pacific Classic weekend (Aug. 23-24) and they all came back clean," Sadler said at the time. "As far as I'm concerned, it's a dead issue. I'm moving on."