315-Day Ban for Top Penn National Trainer

Harry F. Thompson Jr., the leading trainer at Penn National eight of the past 10 years, has been suspended 315 days and fined $5,250 for positive tests of clenbuterol in 2002.

The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported that Commonwealth Court Friday denied the appeals of Thompson and fellow trainers Robert E. Lopez, Bruno Bellucci and Michael J. Peterson for similar violations.

Thompson's suspension became effective Nov. 6 and will extend through Sept. 16, 2005.

The court upheld the rulings by the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission made on Nov. 19, 2003. The commission first issued the decision Feb. 15, 2003, after positive tests came back in November, 2002.

All four trainers had been allowed to race until their appeals were heard.

Thompson has won 575 races at Penn National since 2001 including 84 this year.

He was cited for five violations.

Lopez, who had three violations, was fined $2,250 and suspended 135 days through March 20, 2005. Bellucci and Peterson were each fined $500 and suspended 30 days through Dec. 5 for single infractions.