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Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Medina Spirit, the horse whose Kentucky Derby win is in jeopardy after he failed a drug test, was being treated with an anti-fungal ointment for dermatitis that contained the steroid found in the test, trainer Bob Baffert acknowledged Tuesday.

The big picture: Baffert noted that it's not yet definitively known whether the ointment is behind the positive drug test but said that it "could explain the results" and that the investigation is ongoing.

  • "While we do not know definitively that this was the source of the alleged 21 picograms [of betamethasone] found in Medina Spirit's post-race blood sample, and our investigation is continuing, I have been told by equine pharmacology experts that this could explain the test results," Baffert said in a statement.

The state of play: Medina Spirit's test results earlier this week showed more than the permitted amount of betamethasone, a steroid used to reduce pain and swelling.

  • Baffert, a Hall of Fame trainer, has had five horses fail drug tests in just over a year.

What to watch: Churchill Downs has announced that the horse will be disqualified as the 2021 Kentucky Derby winner if a second test comes back positive. Those results aren't expected for weeks, per the Courier Journal.

  • Baffert's lawyer said separately on Tuesday that an agreement has been reached to allow Medina Spirit to run in Saturday's Preakness in Baltimore, Maryland, according to the Courier Journal. Baffert has said he will not attend the race.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
May 10, 2021 - Sports

What the Kentucky Derby doping scandal means for horse racing

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Medina Spirit, the 2021 Kentucky Derby winner, failed a drug test after the race, putting his victory — and horse racing's integrity — in jeopardy.

Why it matters: Medina Spirit is Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert's fifth horse known to have failed a drug test in just over a year.

Pacific Northwest soon to be ground zero for record-shattering heat

Computer model projection showing the unusually strong heat dome over the Pacific Northwest on Sunday. (PivotalWeather).

A heat wave is bringing unprecedented high temperatures to the Pacific Northwest — a region of the country typically cooled by the ocean, rather than central air conditioning. The heat will begin Friday and last into early next week.

Why it matters: The heat wave will shatter monthly and all-time temperature records in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the records could break the old milestones by several degrees.

At least one person killed, 99 missing after deadly Miami-area condo collapse

A massive search-and-rescue operation is underway after a portion of a 12-story residential building in Surfside, Florida, collapsed at approximately 1:30 a.m. Thursday, according to AP.

The latest: Officials have accounted for 102 people who lived in the high-rise Champlain Towers South, but 99 people remained unaccounted for by midafternoon, said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County at a press conference Thursday afternoon.