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Baffert Attorney: Tests on Medina Spirit Split Sample Show Betamethasone Positive Was from Ointment


at 6:45 pm |
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Updated: December 3, 2021 at 6:47 pm

Medina Spirit and Baffert | Coady Photo

Tests performed on the split samples taken from GI Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit (Protonico) have revealed that the Bob Baffert trainee’s much-publicized betamethasone positive was in fact the result of the use of a topical ointment–not an injection–according to a Friday evening statement put out by Baffert’s attorney W. Craig Robertson III.

The email from Robertson to members of the media read:

“The testing of the split urine sample of Medina Spirit has now been completed by Dr. George Maylin, Director of the New York Drug Testing & Research Program. By Order of the Franklin Circuit Court in Kentucky, this urine was tested ‘to determine if the alleged topical administration of Otomax could have resulted in the finding of betamethasone’ in Medina Spirit following the 2021 Kentucky Derby. Those results have now definitively confirmed that the betamethasone present in Medina Spirit’s system did indeed come from the topical ointment Otomax and not an injection. In other words, it has now been scientifically proven that what Bob Baffert said from the beginning was true–Medina Spirit was never injected with betamethasone and the findings following the Kentucky Derby were solely the result of the horse being treated for a skin condition by way of a topical ointment–all at the direction of Medina Spirit’s veterinarian.


“The betamethasone in an injection is betamethasone acetate.  The betamethasone in the topical ointment is betamethasone valerate.  Only betamethasone acetate is addressed and regulated in the rules of racing in Kentucky. Thus, the presence of betamethasone valerate in Medina Spirit, which resulted from a topical ointment, is not a rules violation. Dr. Maylin’s testing not only confirmed the presence of betamethasone valerate, but also the absence of betamethasone acetate. This should definitively resolve the matter in Kentucky and Medina Spirit should remain the official winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

“Since May, Mr. Baffert has been the subject of an unfair rush to judgment. We asked all along that everyone wait until the facts and science came to light. Now that it has been scientifically proven that Mr. Baffert was truthful, did not break any rules of racing, and Medina Spirit’s victory was due solely to the heart and ability of the horse and nothing else, it is time for all members of racing to come together for the good of the sport. Mr. Baffert has been a tremendous ambassador for the sport throughout his 46 year Hall of Fame career and he has every intention of continuing to do so.”

   This story will be updated.

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