Part of complete coverage on
California suspends Derby-winning trainer over 2010 race
May 25, 2012 -- Updated 0916 GMT (1716 HKT)
Trainer Doug O'Neill (in yellow hat) celebrates after I'll Have Another won the 138th Kentucky Derby on May 5.
- NEW: California action won't affect upcoming Belmont Stakes, New York official says
- Doug O'Neill trained Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another
- California's state racing board suspended him for 45 days effective July 1 at earliest
- O'Neill was cleared of "milkshaking" but hit for high carbon dioxide levels in his horse's blood
(CNN) -- California horse-racing authorities handed the trainer of Triple Crown hopeful I'll Have Another a 45-day suspension Thursday stemming from a 2010 race with another horse, but cleared him of giving that horse an energy-boosting cocktail.
The suspension won't take effect until at least July 1, meaning trainer Doug O'Neill will be able to participate in the June 9 Belmont Stakes -- when Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another is carrying high hopes for the sport's first Triple Crown since 1978. And the California Horse Racing Board's decision explicitly cleared O'Neill of "milkshaking" the throughbred Argenta during a race at southern California's Del Mar track in September 2010.
The board did find O'Neill, as Argenta's trainer, was responsible for high total carbon dioxide levels found in its blood -- a sign a horse might have been given a "milkshake" of baking soda, electrolytes and sugar believed to help it combat fatigue. It fined him $15,000, and said another 135 days of suspension could be applied if O'Neill is found to have violated other rules in any jurisdiction.
But a state hearing officer found no sign of any "intentional acts" on the part of the trainer or any sign that betting on the race had been skewed toward Argenta, which finished well out of the money in eighth place.
Looking back at 'Derby Day'
Calvin Borel: Kentucky Derby legend
Breeding Kentucky Derby studs
O'Neill can challenge the finding in court, but his brother, Dennis O'Neill, said no decision has been made on how to proceed.
"We're just ecstatic that the judge ruled we didn't do anything to make the TCO2 (total carbon dioxide) level go up," Dennis O'Neill told CNN. But he said there was "absolutely" no doubt his brother would be able to take part in the Belmont, in New York.
"We're very happy that the press release is very clear that Doug never milkshaked the horse, and there was no suspicious betting pattern," he added.
Lee Park, a spokesman for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, said that agency would review California's decision. But since the suspension won't take effect until July, "it should have no bearing on the June 9 Belmont Stakes," he said.
The 2010 allegation isn't the first scrape O'Neill has had with California regulators. In 2007, he was fined $3,000 after another horse showed high carbon dioxide levels. And in 2010, the Illinois Racing Board suspended him for 15 days when another horse showed high blood CO2 levels; California's racing board issued him a matching suspension.
But there have been no allegations that O'Neill had given a milkshake to I'll Have Another. And his brother told CNN earlier this week that "We've never milkshaked a horse."
"We wouldn't know how to do it," Dennis O"Neill said. "It's never been done by us or anybody in the barn."
Part of complete coverage on
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 2048 GMT (0448 HKT)
From LeBron James in a mask to spectacular cycling crashes -- check out some of the best images from the sporting world.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 1254 GMT (2054 HKT)
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
January 20, 2014 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
When the eye of the storm closes in most people head home -- but for these surfers it's a different story.
January 6, 2014 -- Updated 1445 GMT (2245 HKT)
Gareth Evans is a school teacher in South Africa. In 1983, he attended a "rebel tour" cricket match against the West Indies.
December 17, 2013 -- Updated 1507 GMT (2307 HKT)
In the wake of protests in his native Ukraine, heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has turned his back on boxing to focus on his political ambitions.
August 9, 2013 -- Updated 0920 GMT (1720 HKT)
The Olympics must use its global reach and immense popularity to help save a generation, says sporting icon Sergei Bubka.
August 7, 2013 -- Updated 1632 GMT (0032 HKT)
CNN's Fred Pleitgen exposes a history of German government-funded doping throughout the Cold War.
April 9, 2013 -- Updated 1628 GMT (0028 HKT)
A six-day run that covers more than 220 km through the scorching heat of the Sahara desert has been billed as the "World's toughest race."
April 10, 2013 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
He plays the only sport approved by the Taliban, a game he learned as a war refugee in Pakistan.
April 4, 2013 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
How do you like your sport? Blood, sweat, tears and a nailbiting finish, no doubt. But what about death?
April 5, 2013 -- Updated 0934 GMT (1734 HKT)
Disgraced doper Lance Armstrong's quest to take part in a swimming event in Texas appears to have been sunk before he's even hit the water.
Today's five most popular stories