Godolphin stable in lockdown as trainer awaits dope hearing

GODOLPHIN owner Sheikh Mohammed has ordered an immediate lockdown of their Moulton Paddocks stables as trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni today prepares to face a British Horseracing Authority inquiry on doping charges.

The Dubai ruler has also pledged that none of the hundreds of horses at his Newmarket base will run again this season until they are proven to be clean, after it emerged this week that 11 horses under Al-Zarooni’s care had tested positive for anabolic steroids.

“We will be locking down the Moulton Paddocks stables with immediate effect and I have instructed that I want a full round of blood samples and dope testing done on every single horse on that premises,” said Sheikh Mohammed. “I can assure the racing public that no horse will run from that yard this season until I have been absolutely assured by my team that the entire yard is completely clean.”

In 2011, trainer Howard Johnson was handed a four-year ban and subsequently retired after a hearing learned how Striking Article underwent a palmar neurectomy to remove leg nerves, so the horse could not feel pain, and anabolic steroids were given to three other horses in his care.

Al Zarooni, who faces 15 charges of breaking BHA rules at a hearing scheduled for this afternoon, has confessed to doping four horses in addition to those that tested positive. However, racing chiefs have confirmed that the 37-year-old will not face further action over the quartet as positive samples do not exist.