GODOLPHIN trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni’s horse racing career lay in tatters last night after he was banned for eight years for administering banned steroids to 15 horses in Sheikh Mohammed’s prestigious stable.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) also disqualified the 15 horses in question for six months, starting from 9 April, the date of the positive tests, ruling them out of competition until October.
“I apologise to Sheikh Mohammed and all those at Godolphin and the public who follow racing,” said Al Zarooni. “I accept it was my responsibility to be aware of rules and regulations around banned substances. I have made a catastrophic error.”
Al Zarooni learned his fate at a BHA hearing in London yesterday, having this week admitted to doping horses including unbeaten Certify.
Eleven Newmarket-based horses tested positive for either Stanozolol or Ethylestranol in random tests.
Al Zarooni, who later admitted to doping a further four horses, said he did not realise it was illegal to dope them when they were not racing.
BHA chief executive Paul Bittar said he hoped the bans would “reassure the public, and the sport’s participants, that use of performance-enhancing substances in British racing will not be tolerated and that the sport has in place a robust and effective anti-doping and medication control programme.”
RULINGS IN SUMMARY
■ Mahmood Al Zarooni disqualified from horse racing for eight years for administering steroids to 15 horses
■ All 15 horses, based at Sheikh Mohammed’s Newmarket paddocks, banned from competing until October, so they derive no performance benefit