- The Washington Times - Monday, May 10, 2021

Horse-racing trainer Bob Baffert finds himself in hot water after his Kentucky Derby-winning horse, Medina Spirit, tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. On Sunday, Churchill Downs suspended Baffert, whose horses have had five failed drug tests in a little more than a year. 

Baffert, though, is firing back — blaming the backlash on something else: Cancel culture.

Appearing on Fox News, Baffert said he did not give his horse a performance-enhancing drug and was adamant it did not happen. He said he hopes Medina Spirit will be allowed to race this weekend at the Preakness in Baltimore. 

“When Churchill Downs came out with that statement, it was pretty harsh,” Baffert said. “With all the noise going out, we live in a different world now. This America is different. It was like a cancel culture kind of a thing, so they’re reviewing it.” 

Medina Spirit tested positive for “betamethasone,” an injection that helps reduce pain and swelling. The horse will have another sample tested to confirm the positive result. 

In light of the positive test, Churchill Downs released a scathing statement toward Baffert, who has won the Kentucky Derby seven times. 

“Given the seriousness of the alleged offense, Churchill Downs will immediately suspend Bob Baffert, the trainer of Medina Spirit, from entering any horses at Churchill Downs Racetrack,” the statement read. “To be clear, if the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit’s results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated and Mandaloun will be declared the winner.”

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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