HARRISBURG, Pa.– Attorney General Bruce L. Castor, Jr. today announced the arrest of a Bucks County woman following allegations that she rigged thoroughbred horse races by administering a performance-enhancing drug to horses.
Marian Vega, 25, was charged with one count of rigging a publicly exhibited contest following an investigation by the Office of Attorney General’s Organized Crime Section and Gaming Unit. The investigation followed an investigation by the state Horse Racing Commission.
According to a criminal complaint filed in support of the charge, Vega illegally administered the drug Clenbuterol to horses while she was employed at the Parx Casino and Racing venue in Bensalem, Bucks County.
“People expect that horse racing not be fixed,” Attorney General Castor said. “The evidence here shakes people’s confidence that equal horses compete on an ‘even running field’ in these events.”
According to the criminal complaint, the investigation showed Vega, a groom at the racing facility, clearly administered Clenbuterol beyond accepted guidelines. The drug is a controlled therapeutic medication prescribed to horses with respiratory disease, investigators said, but it has the effect of a performance-enhancing drug when administered outside the permissible guidelines.
Testing on multiple horses confirmed the presence of Clenbuterol outside the permissible guidelines, investigators alleged in the criminal complaint. It is further alleged that Vega was found in possession of a bottle containing the drug during this investigation.
Vega, of the 3100 block of Knights Road, Bensalem, was released from custody after her bail was set at $20,000 unsecured. A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 31.
Attorney General Castor thanked the state Horse Racing Commission and the state Department of Agriculture for their work on this investigation.
Vega will be prosecuted by Chief Deputy Attorney General Erik Olsen of the Office of Attorney General’s Organized Crime Section and Gaming Unit.
SOURCE: PA Attorney General’s Office