Trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni Banned Eight Years for Horse DopingBob Bensch
Trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni was suspended for eight years for administering anabolic steroids to horses in his care, the British Horseracing Authority said in a statement on its website.
In addition, 15 horses trained by Al Zarooni have been banned from racing for six months, the BHS said in a second statement.
The 37-year-old appeared today before a BHA disciplinary hearing in London after tests by the governing body this month found anabolic steroids ethylestranol and stanozolol in 11 of 45 horses trained by him at the Godolphin stables in Newmarket, England. The trainer earlier this week said he had made a “catastrophic error” in issuing the drugs.
Goldolphin is owned by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashin Al Maktoum, who announced yesterday the stable was in a lockdown until all its horses pass drug tests. Sheikh Mohammed said earlier this week he was “appalled” over the positive tests.
Among the 15 horses banned was Certify, a former favorite in the 1000 Guineas who was scheduled to run the Newmarket race again on May 5. The three-year-old filly was unbeaten in four races in 2012.
The ban on the horses is backdated to April 9, the date of the first drug test, the BHA said.
“The length of suspension reflects the period beyond which the BHA is confident that the horses in question can have derived no performance related benefit from the administration of these prohibited substances,” Jamie Stier, the BHA’s director of raceday operations and regulation, said in the organization’s statement.
Sheikh Mohammed, who’s also the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, is the world’s biggest owner of race horses. In addition to Godolphin, he owns stables and stud farms in the U.K., Ireland, the U.S. and Australia. Dubai hosts the Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race, and Godolphin has won 202 Group One races in 12 different countries, according to its website.
In 2009, Sheikh Mohammed was banned from long-distance racing for six months after his horse tested positive for banned substances, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) said at the time. His stable manager, Abdullah Bin Huzaim, told an FEI inquiry that he had approved the drugs without Sheikh Mohammed’s knowledge because he thought the horse needed them, the FEI said in 2009.