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Jockey Pedroza's Attorney Challenges State Racing Board Over Drug Tests

March 03, 1987|BILL CHRISTINE

The attorney for jockey Martin Pedroza has written to the California Horse Racing Board, asking for information that prompted Santa Anita stewards to suspend the 21-year-old rider for cocaine use.

Sam Silverstein, who represents Pedroza, said that if the response from the board is not satisfactory, the jockey is prepared to file a multimillion-dollar lawsuit.

Before being suspended for 20 calendar days that run through next Monday, Pedroza tested positive twice and negative once for cocaine in state-administered tests.

Silverstein said that two independent tests of Pedroza turned up negative. One of those was done in an Arcadia hospital half an hour after a positive state test, he said.

Silverstein is asking the racing board to show him copies of the state test reports, plus copies of the depositions that were given by the state's investigative officers, who took the urine samples from Pedroza.

"We have reason to believe that the chain of evidence was broken," Silverstein said. "Martin should have been sent to the laboratory that analyzed the tests, instead of giving the samples in the jockeys' room at Santa Anita. If this were a criminal case, this evidence wouldn't be good enough to convict him."

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