Sheikh Mohammed Launches Inquiry After Police Seize Drugs From Dubai Jet
An "illegal shipment of unlicensed veterinary goods was seized from a Dubai government private jet by UK authorities at Stansted airport earlier this year," causing U.K. racehorse owner SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN RASHID AL MAKTOUM "to launch an internal investigation into his equine operations," according to James Riach of the London GUARDIAN. Thousands of pounds worth of unlicensed products -- "including steroidal injections, anaesthetics and anti-inflammatories that have been described as 'potentially toxic and dangerous to horses' -- were seized and destroyed" by the UK Border Agency and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate on May 3 following the arrival of a Dubai Royal Air Wing flight. Sheikh Mohammed "is monarch of the gulf emirate, as well as the owner of Godolphin, the country's largest Flat racing operation." PRINCESS HAYA, the sheikh's junior wife and president of the Int'l Federation for Equestrian Sports, "has been ordered to conduct a thorough investigation into the seizure at the airport and a separate raid by the VMD last month at Moorley Farm in Newmarket, a location owned by his Darley Management operation, where a number of similar products were found." Sheikh Mohammed "is extremely concerned at the development," which comes only months after his Godolphin thoroughbred operation was "rocked by the biggest doping scandal in racing history" (GUARDIAN, 9/29).