Godolphin Horse Trainer To Face Disciplinary Panel In London Over Doping Scandal
The British Horseracing Authority said on Wednesday that Godolphin stables trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni, "who has admitted using banned steroids to dope racehorses," will face a Disciplinary Panel in London on Thursday, according to Martyn Herman of REUTERS. Eleven horses based at Newmarket in southern England tested positive for steroids, including stanozolol -- "the substance used by disgraced Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson at the 1988 Seoul Olympics." Announcing the date for the disciplinary hearing, the BHA said that Al Zarooni "had also admitted administering prohibited substances to four other horses under his care, in addition to the 11 that were tested positive" (REUTERS, 4/24). In Abu Dhabi, Geoffrey Riddle wrote Al Zarooni "has already admitted culpability, a suspension at least the equal to the 12 months handed to trainer Howard Johnson" in '11 for giving three horses anabolic steroids would appear likely. British Equine Veterinary Association CEO David Mountford said, "The rules are fairly clear, and I think most trainers would be aware of those rules" (THE NATIONAL, 4/24).
STATING THEIR CASE: In London, Andy Stephens wrote racing's ruling body and trainers united Tuesday to strongly deny that the sport is tainted by drugs after revelations that 11 horses trained by Al Zarooni for Sheikh Mohammed, "the most powerful owner in the world, had tested positive for anabolic steroids." The National Trainers' Federation admitted that it was "shocked" at the news of positive tests but insisted that it was an isolated episode (THE TIMES, 4/24). In a separate article, Riddle wrote the Emirates Racing Authority "remain convinced that their drug-detection procedures are effective" despite horses under the care of Al Zarooni returning positive samples in England. Drug testing of horses "is carried out by the ERA on all race winners and that net is widened to horses placed in Group and Listed races" (THE NATIONAL, 4/23).