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Woodbine trainer slapped with 20-year ban for administering banned drugs – Toronto Sun

The Woodbine racing community was rocked with the news this week that long-time thoroughbred trainer Robert Gerl of Palgrave, Ont., has been suspended for 20 years and fined $100,000 by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario for multiple medication violations.

According to a news release put out by the AGCO, the suspensions involve the horses Arafat and Komunist. Both tested positive for Ostarine (Enobosarm), a non-therapeutic substance that produces effects similar to anabolic steroids. Both horses were declared unplaced and the purse money they earned has to be returned. Gerl had not run a horse at Woodbine or anywhere in North America this year. A number of Woodbine trainers expressed shock at the length of Gerl’s suspension. Gerl operates a small stable of horses and does most of the work on his horses himself.

“I’ve never heard of the drug, but a very harsh penalty,” one trainer, wishing to remain anonymous, to the Toronto Sun. “I’ve heard rumours of (the positives) possibly being from contamination from feed mills that process feed for other types of livestock.”

According to Equibase, in 1,132 lifetime starts, Gerl has recorded 65 wins, 101 seconds and 117 thirds with earnings of $3.1 million. A number of pro football players and Olympic athletes have tested positive Enobosarm over the years. The use of the drug has also been used by the general public as a gym supplement.

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