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The family of Triple Crown winner Secretariat, including owner Penny Tweedy Chenery’s daughter Kate Tweedy, was outraged by comments made by Jason Kelce claiming that the horse used steroids during its racing career in the 1970s. In a statement issued to Horse Racing Nation, Kate vehemently denied the claims, stating that Secretariat was never given performance-enhancing drugs and that both her mother and grandfather were committed to the rule that horses should only receive healthy feed, water, and necessary medical treatment.

Jason Kelce initially made the controversial comments about Secretariat using steroids during an episode of his podcast “New Heights,” where he acknowledged that he did not actually know whether the horse used steroids or not. He pointed out the horse’s muscular stature, the prevalence of steroids in the 1970s, and the lack of adequate testing as reasons for his suspicions. However, after receiving backlash from Secretariat’s fan base, Kelce issued an apology, stating that he was not trying to take away from the horse’s legacy and that it was unfair to assume such things publicly without proof.

In response to Kelce’s claims, Kate Tweedy emphasized that Secretariat’s large heart, weighing 22 pounds, was strictly a genetic gift that enabled him to excel in racing. She clarified that the heart was not chemically or pathologically enlarged, but rather a natural advantage that allowed the horse to run faster and farther than any other horse of the last century. Secretariat was later put down in 1989 due to a painful hoof condition called laminitis.

Kelce’s comments sparked controversy within the world of horse racing and among Secretariat’s admirers, leading to a debate about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport. The family of Secretariat strongly defended the horse’s reputation, stating that drug use was not a part of the horse’s career and that he achieved his remarkable accomplishments through natural talent and genetic advantages. Kelce’s apology acknowledged the lack of evidence to support his claims and expressed regret for causing an uproar among fans of the legendary racehorse.

Ultimately, the controversy surrounding Jason Kelce’s comments raised important questions about the legacy of Secretariat and the integrity of the sport of horse racing. While suspicions about drug use in professional sports are not uncommon, it is essential to refrain from making unfounded claims that could tarnish the reputation of iconic athletes like Secretariat. The debate serves as a reminder of the need for accountability and respect when discussing the accomplishments and legacies of historical figures in sports.

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