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Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit stripped of 2021 title after failed drug test

FILE - John Velazquez rides Medina Spirit across the finish line to win the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., May 1, 2021. Split-sample urine testing of Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit has shown that a steroid present in the colt’s system came from a topical ointment and not an injection, according to an attorney for trainer Bob Baffert. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
John Velazquez rides Medina Spirit across the finish line at the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., in May 2021. Medina Spirit failed a post race drug test and on Monday, was stripped of his 2021 title.

The 2021 winner of the Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit, has been disqualified from his win last May and his trainer Bob Baffert has been suspended, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission announced Monday.Medina Spirit, who died in December, failed a drug test after finishing the Kentucky Derby last year.Baffert has been under scrutiny for his historyof training horses who fail drug tests. In the case of Medina Spirit last year, he denied any wrongdoing and said the horse had never knowingly been treated with the drug betamethasone.While the drug is commonly used to treat pain and inflammation in horses, it's an illegal substance on race days.The commission said in its ruling that lab testing at the University of California, Davis, confirmed that Medina Spirit had betamethasone in his blood.Baffert's suspension will last 90 days and he has been fined $7,500.Churchill Downs, which hosts the Kentucky Derby, released a statementMonday recognizing Mandaloun as the winner of race last year."Winning the Kentucky Derby is one of the most exciting achievements in sports and we look forward to celebrating Mandaloun on a future date in a way that is fitting of this rare distinction," the statement said.


This story originally appeared in the Morning Edition live blog. Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.