Snake Venom Accusation Dogs Horse Trainer
Poison from cobra reported found in Ky. racetrack barn
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2007 3:24 PM CDT

(Newser) – Doping scandals in horse racing usually concern diuretics and other performance-enhancing drugs, but a controversy currently brewing in Kentucky and New York involves a substance with a far longer history: cobra venom. Authorities searched a barn at Keeneland last month and turned up evidence that has sparked an investigation of noted trainer Patrick Biancone, the New York Post reports.

Snake venom, which numbs the legs and feet, is a drug of "last resort," says a vet. Biancone has enjoyed success in the US since moving his operation from Hong Kong, where officials issued a drug suspension in 1999. Because the Kentucky probe has not concluded, nothing prevents him from moving his tack to Saratoga, where racing begins July 25.