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Weaver Runner Tests Positive for Metformin

The trainer faces up to a two-year suspension.

Trainer George Weaver

Trainer George Weaver

Coglianese Photos/Lauren King

Trainer George Weaver was informed by the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit that his runner Anna's Wish tested positive for metformin following a third-place finish in the March 16 Cicada Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack. The pending violation was posted April 11 on the HIWU website.

HIWU public disclosures are the first step in the legal process. Weaver will not be issued a provisional suspension and can continue to train until a split sample, or B sample, on Anna's Wish can confirm the presence of metformin in the horse's urine.

In the past three years, there have been several cases of horses testing positive postrace for metformin. While some of the cases have been overturned and resolved, Jonathan Wong is among the higher-profile trainers to receive the maximum penalty for metformin when it was found in one of his runners. Wong received a two-year ban and was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine and $8,000 in arbitration costs after contending the HIWU ruling in court.

MITCHELL: Wong Suspended for Two Years, Fined $25,000

Metformin is a drug used to control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. The drug has been deemed as Class 2/Penalty Class B status by the Association of Racing Commissioners International since 2018. According to a study summarized by Dr. Bryan Waldridge, metformin may be useful for the treatment of equine metabolic syndrome. The study summary said that the results showed administration of metformin significantly decreases intestinal absorption of glucose and the corresponding insulin response.

According to the Jockey Club, Weaver's most recent positive was in 2017 at Tampa Bay Downs when his trainee Reason to Soar failed a postrace test for the drug promazine sulfoxide. Weaver was fined $300 for the violation.

Clarification: This story has been updated to say that Dr. Bryan Waldridge summarized a study. He did not conduct the study.