Boy with doped goat can compete in Colo. fair

COLLEEN SLEVIN
March 22, 2012

DENVER (AP) — A boy who had been disqualified from the Colorado State Fair after his goat tested positive for a banned drug will be allowed to compete this year.

General manager Chris Wiseman announced in a statement Thursday that Ben Weinroth will be able to participate "due to the circumstances." Ben's 19-year-old sister, Maggie Weinroth, could compete in the fair's junior division if she hadn't become ineligible because of her age, Wiseman added.

Wiseman refused to elaborate on the reasons for the reversal.

The siblings' goats both tested positive for ractopamine, a drug that promotes muscle growth, after Ben's goat won first place in the lightweight division and Maggie's animal was named the grand champion in the fair's junior livestock auction last August.

The Weinroths, who live in Sedlia, appealed the fair's decision, and their mother said they reached an agreement to clear the children's names after mediation with fair officials.

Sue Weinroth said someone tampered with the animals' feed their first night at the fair, making the goats sick. She said they found the goats the next morning gorging themselves on their feed, which had been dumped into the pen and mixed with strange pellets.

She said fair officials knew about the problem because the fair veterinarian had to be called to care for the animals twice. She said no one suspected the animals had been given a banned substance.

Weinroth said her children were stunned as news of the doping scandal spread around the world.

"All you did was show up and show a goat," she recalled saying to her son.

She said the fair's reversal will still help her daughter, an animal science major. She had feared it would hurt her career plans to specialize in food safety.