By Bernd Debusmann Jr
The trainer of the first placed horse at the February 29 event is among 27 people being indicted by a federal court in the US on doping charges
The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia (JSCA) is withholding purse money for the $20 million Saudi Cup – the world’s richest race – pending its own investigation into doping charges looming over the winner, it was announced on Monday.
Jason Servis, the trainer of Maximum Security –the first placed horse – has been indicted by US prosecutors on charges related to the use of prohibited substances relating to the administration of prohibited substances to horses in training under his care.
“JCSA is conducting its own investigation in respect of the allegations and until that investigation is concluded, JCSA will withhold payment of prize money due to all connections of horses placed in price-winning positions in the Saudi Cup, race 8,” the body said in a statement.
The investigation, however, has not been concluded as a result of ‘difficult operational circumstances’ caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic.
“JCSA will issue no further statement until such time as the investigation is completed to our satisfaction,” the statement added.
Maximum Security was first place in the inaugural Saudi Cup – earning $10 million – at the inaugural Saudi Cup held at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh.
On March 9, however, Servis and trainer Jorge Navarro were among 27 people indicted by a federal court on doping-related charges.