Racing Victoria will push for a re-examination of the Australian rules allowing horses to be treated with anabolic steroids while "out of competition," according to Michael Lynch of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The push comes after the shock revelations in England that one of the world's biggest racing stables, Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin, "had been using steroids" to boost their gallopers' well-being and performance. Mahmood Al Zarooni, one of two Newmarket-based trainers working for the Emirati racing giant, "was banned for eight years at a disciplinary hearing held overnight Friday Australian time, effectively destroying his career." British racing has a zero tolerance policy to all drugs, but in Australia, "trainers are allowed to use steroids to help horses recover more quickly from their exertions or to enhance their wellbeing if they are spelling and not in training." They "are not allowed to race with steroids in their system." RV CEO Bernard Saundry said on Friday that "the alarming disclosures from Britain were a wake-up call for racing jurisdictions around the world." As a result, "RV would seek to reignite debate on whether allowing the use of steroids at any time was the right thing for the sport" (SMH, 4/27).
SEEKING CONSISTENCY: REUTERS reported British Horseracing Authority CEO Paul Bittar said on Friday that the doping incident is likely to prompt int'l racing authorities "to look at bringing consistency to the rules on using drugs." The rules "vary around the world." The raceday use of anti-bleeder medication Lasix in the U.S. "is also highly controversial in the sport" and last month the Breeders' Cup announced it was rescinding its plan to bar the use of it in all of its '13 races. Bittar said that "more action could follow." Bittar: "It is not correct to say that is the end of the matter, far from it. I would term it the end of the beginning, in a way "(REUTERS, 4/27).
Stewards will look to establish whether bookmaker Tom Waterhouse had "privileged information" before More Joyous' dismal performance as the turf war between his trainer mother and Owner John Singleton rages, according to Cormick & Kogoy of THE AUSTRALIAN. On Sunday, Singleton removed all seven of his horses from Gai Waterhouse's stables at Randwick after a public row with the trainer on Saturday, "when he claimed he had been told by friends her son Tom was aware of a problem with More Joyous, who finished second-last in the Group I All Aged Stakes." On Sunday, Tom Waterhouse denied Singleton's claims and indicated he would take legal action. Waterhouse: "Stunned and upset by Singo's comments regarding Gai Waterhouse and me. They are completely false and wrong. I'm meeting with lawyers today." Racing NSW Chief Steward Ray Murrihy said that the other key part of the inquiry to be heard on Friday concerned whether Ms. Waterhouse "should have advised stewards of a health issue for the mare that developed late last week" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 4/29). In Sydney, Ray Thomas wrote Murrihy said that "Singleton would need to provide evidence to substantiate his claims." Murrihy: "I'm sure if the information is relevant, we have the powers to require an owner to provide that information" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 4/29).
The disgraced former FIFA VP Jack Warner claims that "he was personally given the money to build" a £4M ($6.2M) center of excellence in Trinidad "in return for helping Sepp Blatter's election as president of the sport's world governing body," according to the PA. Warner "has produced letters from Blatter's predecessor, João Havelange," apparently showing the $6M FIFA "loan for the centre, built on land owned by Warner, had been converted into a grant" (PA, 4/26).
The Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) "has rejected claims made by the man who led the investigation into Lance Armstrong that it was complicit in a cover-up of the disgraced cyclist's doping," according to the PA. U.S. Anti-doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart alleges that "Armstrong has evidence pointing to a cover-up." The UCI responded in a statement, rejecting the claims and reiterating that "it has nothing to hide, while also attacking Tygart." A UCI spokesperson said,
"The fact is that Mr. Tygart has no evidence of any wrongdoing and has chosen to make headlines on a convenient interpretation of a conversation he had with Lance Armstrong. He should establish the facts before jumping to conclusions" (PA, 4/26).
Serie A club Inter Milan has been fined €45,000 ($59,000) by UEFA "for the racist behaviour of their fans during a Europa League last 16 second-leg match at home to Tottenham Hotspur in March." Portuguese top flight club Benfica has also been hit by a €32,000 ($42,000) fine "for organizational issues and the conduct of their supporters" at the Europa League last 16, first leg against Girondins Bordeaux in Lisbon last month (REUTERS, 4/26). ... Cambodia's only official basketball league is set to launch June 1. The first season's title sponsorship has been bagged by forex and money transfer operator Western Union, and Coca-Cola "is one of the leading co-sponsors" (PHNOM PENH POST, 4/26).