NTRA Responds to Alleged Race Fixing at Aqueduct

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has issued a statement regarding the alleged race-fixing scheme at Aqueduct.

"Our member tracks are committed to doing everything in their power to aid law enforcement officials in their investigation of these disturbing allegations," D.G. Van Clief Jr., NTRA commissioner, said in a prepared statement. "Our sport, which includes hundreds of thousands of owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, bettors and hard-working, full-time employees, cannot function effectively without the highest level of integrity.

"The NTRA will continue to work with our member tracks, owners and other elements of our industry to ensure that any attempts to tamper with that integrity are brought to light, that those responsible are brought to justice and that our testing, security and policies in these areas are as effective as we can make them."

According to the Associated Press, a plot to fix a race by giving a horse a performance-enhancing substance was among crimes alleged in a crackdown on sports gambling that resulted in charges against 17 defendants, including three reputed mobsters.

The defendants were accused of taking bets on horse racing and other sporting events as law enforcement authorities closed a two-year probe into the gambling operation in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Nevada and New Hampshire.

Charges included gambling conspiracy, money laundering, horse-doping conspiracy, loan sharking and wire fraud. If convicted, nine of the defendants could face life in prison while the others could face 10 to 20 years in prison. The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of at least $200 million, including homes in several states.