28 February 2006

Fixed Races in Italy. Viagra made horses run faster

HORSE-RACING: RIGGED RACES, 25 ARRESTS
(AGI) - Naples, Feb. 27 - Twenty-five people have been arrested by the Naples NAS carabinieri during an operation that has put a stop to an organization involved in rigging horse races. Horse owners, breeders, trainers, scientific consultants, pharmacists, veterinarians, jockeys and common criminals have all been taken into custody on warrants issued by the preliminary investigative judge of the Naples Tribunal. The charge is criminal association for receiving doping drugs used on horses involved in official and secret competitions. The investigation, coordinated by magistrates from the Naples public prosecutor's office, is the follow-up of the inquiry which, a year ago, led to the seizure of a secret race-course in the Neapolitan hinterland. The organization, which allegedly has no connection with the Camorra, was based in Naples and had offshoots in Sicily and Emilia Romagna. Investigations brought to light the group's use of doping drugs on the race horses of an unknown provenance (from theft, kidnappings or smuggling), interfering with the rules of the races and 'rigging' the results with illegal profits from betting. Details of the operation will be made known during a press conference this morning at the public prosecutor's office. (AGI) .

Horses given Viagra to make them go faster at illegal races

Barbara McMahon in Rome
Tuesday February 28, 2006
The Guardian

Two vets and a pharmacist were among 24 people arrested by police in Naples yesterday over claims that they fed Viagra to horses running in illegal races to make them go faster.

The arrests were part of a wider investigation into clandestine racing and betting in southern Italy. Police said horseowners and jockeys had also been arrested during the latest raids.

Prosecutors in Naples have been trying to stamp out illegal horse racing, which takes place on public racecourses after hours and attracts hundreds of gamblers. Stolen horses are often used. Some are fed powdered Viagra or other stimulants to improve their performances.

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