Steroid trainer Al Zarooni bids to reduce ban

Frank Dalleres
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FORMER Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni has launched an appeal against his eight-year ban from racing for doping 15 horses at the Newmarket base of Sheikh Mohammed’s prestigious operation.

Al Zarooni was handed the ban last month after admitting breaking British Horseracing Authority rules on prohibited substances, his duty to keep medication records and conduct prejudicial to racing.

The Dubai-born 37-year-old waived the right to legal representation at his hearing but has hired solicitors and a barrister to argue for a more lenient sentence at an appeal.

British racing’s biggest doping scandal in recent history exploded on 22 April when the BHA revealed 11 horses, including 1,000 Guineas hopeful Certify, from Godolphin’s Moulton Paddocks had tested positive for steroids.

Al Zarooni, citing “a catastrophic mistake”, admitted to doping four more horses, but said he had not known the substances were banned in Britain when horses were not racing, unlike some countries.

Three days later the BHA issued its eight-year ban, and last week published its full judgement, in which it found Al Zarooni’s plea of ignorance “not truthful”.