Faraldo on Gural: So much for transparency and integrity and hello to more bewildering hypocrisy

by Joe Faraldo

I just saw Jeff Gural’s so called response to the USTA president’s ask (full story here) for full disclosure regarding those drug tests the USTA helped pay for some years back that Jeff had requested the USTA to provide help with. The guardian of integrity, has steadfastly refused to turn over the results to anyone, including those who he asked to help pay for those tests, the accused and even regulators — regulators often criticized for not taking action against wrongdoers.

The simple ask back then and now was for those asserted positive tests, that went unrevealed to anyone, including the industry. Now we are told that there were no such positive tests. If this wasn’t so scary, it would indeed but sheer comedy.

So was the entire industry purposely misled? Were people just outed in an alleged violation of the doping rules when no violations existed? Were others given a pass and allowed to participate even though they actually had positive tests? We have recently seen an admission made under oath by a person injecting PEDS then given a pass.

Well, so much for transparency and integrity and hello to more bewildering hypocrisy.

The response given, was made to deflect attention away from the request directed squarely at those past pronouncements of what we are now told were unfounded, non-existent, positive tests. As they say, the best defense is a good offense. Direct the focus of our attention and the president of the USTA curiously to the fact that the recent FBI probe has not one post-race positive test. But neither did Gural’s.

Every lawyer following the existing criminal cases knows that the FBI has not one positive post-race test, or any Out of Competition positive tests, with possibly one exception, and no hair follicle positive tests, remember those. But the FBI never claimed to have any and that was not the question posed but the response given by Jeff.

How about answering those people that were maligned by what was done? How about revealing those tests results so the industry could know the truth? The further response that Joe and Russell should be careful of what the Fishman/Grasso list might disclose isn’t going to cause me a sleepless night. For those who say enough now, I didn’t make any request but I support its ultimate goal — the truth. I also guess the smear campaign that will follow to avoid the truth.

It troubles me that no one wants an independent Standardbred Racing Integrity Fund (SRIF) that was demanded after its announced creation. An SRIF, the SOA and PHHA has supported because it is independent of one or more persons carving out exceptions to investigations.

Not shocking that our industry is willing to believe that there were people who were cheating at the Meadowlands, though we are now being led to believe that that may not have been the case. It is a narrative we want to believe — anyone who is successful is a cheater. That is the false narrative the industry loves. It fulfills the unfounded belief, lacking only evidence of wrongdoing. That narrative builds handle and strikes at other track operators who are claimed not to care or the horsemen’s leadership now said to be operating those tracks.

I have no idea what the Gural response does, but it is in line with letting an admitted doper race. The impetus, it seems to me, for the ask by Russell Williams was directed in many ways at the commissions since not one commission has taken the usual step, based on such an under oath admission, to order a Summary Suspension of someone injecting PEDS on race day.

The world is being turned upside down. People who admit such wrongdoing are not supposed to get off scot free and their conduct sanitized. Neither, Hall nor Cohen’s testimonies were critical to the conviction of Seth Fishman. Neither is a heroic figure.