Asmussen's Six-Month Suspension Upheld

Steve Asmussen faces a six-month suspension and a $2,500 fine after the Louisiana Racing Commission upheld an earlier decision stemming from a positive test for Mepivicaine on one of his runners following a race at Evangeline Downs March 24.

The suspension, which would be recognized in all racing jurisdictions, is to begin July 10 to give Asmussen, the second leading trainer in wins and earnings in the United States this year, an option to seek a court hearing. The commission issued its ruling June 23.

Asmussen has led the nation's trainers in victories the past two years, winning a record-breaking 555 races in 2004.

Mepivicaine, a Class 2 drug described as a local anesthetic with the potential to affect performance, was detected in tests of No End in Sight, who ran eighth in a race at Evangeline. An initial ruling was issued May 18.

Asmussen told the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram that he wasn't at Evangeline Downs when the horse ran and did not authorize treating No End in Sight with Mepivicaine. However, he acknowledged trainer responsibility and said he has not decided whether to appeal.