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Sedative may have affected dog's performance

BIRMINGHAM, England-- Organizers of Britain's largest dog
show are investigating allegations that a dog favored to win in its
category performed poorly because it was given a sedative.

Clive and Nancy Evans, owner of a 22-month-old Doberman named
Kerri, said their dog may have been fed a piece of contaminated
meat containing a sedative just before she was to compete Saturday
at the Crufts Dog Show.

"She was just not herself," Clive Evans said. "She was
uncoordinated, listless and lethargic." He said he pulled her out
of the contest, fearing she would collapse.

Trevor Turner, Crufts' chief veterinary officer, said he
examined the dog afterward.

"She was quiet, subdued and a little bit wobbly on her back
legs," Turner said. "She showed signs of sedation, but there is
no evidence of this."

Turner said it would be impossible to confirm the allegations
without a sample of blood and stomach contents.

Crufts spokesman Phil Buckley said drugging was very rare at the
event, with only one case reported in the last 20 years. "If this
claim is substantiated it would be a disgrace and treated very
seriously," Buckley said.