Horse Trainer Fights|16-Year Ban for Viagra


EL PASO, Texas (CN) – A thoroughbred trainer who was suspended from racing for 16 years blames a compounding pharmacy for the Viagra that turned up in four of his horses.
     Viagra (sildenafil) can stop bleeding in horses, but is banned in professional racing.
     John Stinebaugh was barred after Viagra was found in a compound paste used to stop exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhages in his quarter horses. Stinebaugh also was fined $40,000 and suspended indefinitely from the American Quarter Horse Association, which prevents him from racing or training horses nationwide. Four horses he trained tested positive for sildenafil after races on July 5 and 6 at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico.
     Viagra is sometimes prescribed for pulmonary hypertension in humans and animals. It relaxes the smooth muscle cells found in the lungs, as well as in penile tissue.
     Stinebaugh sued Weatherford Compounding Pharmacy, its owner Joe Michael Landers, and Attix Pharmaceuticals on July 6 in El Paso County Court.
     Also sued are Weatherford Lab, Attix Pharmaceuticals, all dissolved Texas corporations, David Y. Liu and Syveon D. Liu.
     Stinebaugh claims Landers assured him that the Tourniquet compound paste was free of Viagra, so his veterinarian used it on the horses before the races.
     He claims that Landers admitted in sworn testimony to the New Mexico Racing Commission that the Tourniquet Compound Paste was cross-contaminated with Viagra and accepted blame for the misrepresentation.
     “Notwithstanding the defendant Weatherford Group admitting to 100 percent responsibility for the contamination of their Tourniquet Compound Paste with Viagra, the Board of Stewards issued a decision against plaintiff, John Stinebaugh,” the complaint states.
     Stinebaugh, of Texas, a highly ranked trainer since 1994, claims his “stellar career has been permanently damaged” by the ban.
     He claims defendant Attix Group and its directors, the Lius, analyzed the paste and reported that it contained ginseng, but no Viagra.
     He seeks compensatory and punitive damages of $6 million for negligent misrepresentation and negligence.
     He is represented by Darron Powell of El Paso.

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