DISGRACED horse trainer Jorge Navarro cried as he was fined £20million and sentenced to five years in prison.
Navarro, 46, who trained more than 1000 winners, doped horses for massive financial gain.
The trainer, who had his nickname ‘Juice Man’ put on a pair of his Crocs, pleaded guilty in August to intentionally giving, or directing others to give, banned performance enhancing drugs to his horses over a four-year period.
Judge Mary Kay Vsykocil of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York handed out the punishment.
Navarro wept as she said she wished she could have sentenced him to longer.
Vsykocil said: “For years, Mr Navarro, you effectively stole millions, cheating other trainers, owners and jockeys you competed against.
“You also demonstrated a collective, callous disregard for the wellbeing of the horses.
“The bottom line is you likely killed or endangered the horses in your care.”
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Told by Navarro’s defence team that despite the charges he did really love horses, Vsykocil hit back: “The reality is someone who loves horses does not subject them to such cruel and dangerous treatment.”
In their pre-sentencing letter, government lawyers said Navarro ‘considered his prolific doping a badge of honour’.
And the judge added: “You were so open, so brazen about your crimes that you were dubbed ‘The Juice Man’ and even kept in your barn a pair of Crocs that had the words ‘Juice Man’ running across the toes.”
One of Navarro’s biggest winners was 2019 Dubai Golden Shaheen winner X Y Jet.
Court documents in the case included a wiretap conversation in which Navarro bragged about doping that horse.
X Y Jet died in January 2020 from a heart attack, according to a statement Navarro released at the time.
‘I BECAME SELFISH’
Navarro had pleaded not guilty to two counts against him but one was dropped following his guilty plea in August.
He said in his guilty plea: “I was the organiser for a criminal activity that involved five or more participants.
“I co-ordinated the administration of non-FDA approved drugs that were misbranded or adulterated to horses under my care.
“I abused a position of trust as I was a licensed horse trainer and the horses were in my custody at the time.”
Tearful as he addressed the courtroom last week, Navarro said: “I became a selfish person who only cared about winning and I lost my way.
“I should have quit when I started feeling all that pressure, rather than putting the horse and the people who believed in me through this.”
Source: The Sun
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