Costas, NBC Plan To Address Doug O'Neill's Suspension During Belmont Coverage
NBC’s Bob Costas Thursday said the net will discuss the suspension of I’ll Have Another trainer Doug O’Neill in the pre-race coverage prior to the Belmont Stakes on June 9 as the horse attempts to win the Triple Crown. O’Neill has been suspended for 45 days by California racing officials and fined $15,000 for giving one of his horses an illegal performance-enhancing mixture. Costas noted pre-race coverage will appear on both NBC and NBC Sports Network and said, “We will hit this issue hard, including with direct interviews … with O’Neill.” One of the interviews will air earlier in the week, while Costas will conduct the second interview the day of the race. But he added, “You have to be careful even though there’s an issue here. Let’s say I’ll Have Another wins the Triple Crown, and there’s O’Neill standing there. … Would you ask Richard Nixon about Watergate while he was descending the steps of the church after one of his daughter's wedding?” Costas: “If we’ve addressed all of these issues prior to, then I think it can be confined to a single question, and I won’t be afraid to ask it” (“The Jim Rome Show,” 5/31).