Groom Wendell Lane was suspended by the Maryland stewards at a hearing yesterday. On Thursday, Lane had refused to allow agents of the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau to search him and his living quarters in connection with a drug investigation. At that time, the Bowie race tract police ordered Lane off track grounds, and the stewards extended that ban today until his case is adjudicated in the next few days.
The search was to be conducted as part of the investigation into the case in which a syringe and needle were found in the barn of trainer Donald E. Hayes on Feb. 4. The discovery led to the late scratch of overnight favorite Mukaluk in the ninth race that day. The urine sample from Mukaluk was tested and disclosed the presence of a barbiturate.
Hayes, who had been suspended for 10 days earlier in the meeting when his horse, Gemani Flight, proved positive for the drug Procaine, has suggested that someone was tampering with horses in his barn.
When agents presented Lane with a warrant signed by the stewards allowing them to search his car, living quarters and person, he first refused to cooperate, saying that his civil rights were bring violated. Agents immediately ordered him off the grounds.
Trainer Hayes was summoned and he finally persuaded Lane to submit to the search. The track police refused, claiming that too much time had elapsed between their request and his consent. Lane was escorted off the grounds and his case remanded to the stewards yesterday.