April 26, 2013, Dubai ~ It was a black eye for Godolphin, as one of it’s leading trainers, 37-year old, Mahmood Al-Zarooni, has been barred for eight years for his part in a major doping scandal.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) handed out the searing measure after a random gathering of blood and urine samples from 45 horses at Moulton Paddocks yard in Newmarket, UK, revealed 11 horses contained ethylestranol and stanozolol, substances banned under British horse racing rules.
Al Zarooni – a trainer since 2010 at the UK-based Dubai-owned Godolphin – admitted to doping the horses and volunteered that he had given another four horses banned substances. He had been previously warned and fined €1,000 by the BHS when two horses failed a drug test in the 2012 racing season.
After the hearing, Al Zarooni publicly apologized, saying that he did not realize that he had broken any rules as the horses were not in competition at the time of the findings.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum issued the following statement on the Goldophin website:
“I was appalled and angered to learn that one of our stables in Newmarket has violated Godolphin’s ethical standards and the rules of British racing. I have been involved in British horse racing for 30 years and have deep respect for its traditions and rules. I built my country based on the same solid principles. There can be no excuse for any deliberate violation. Godolphin is fully cooperating with the British Horseracing Authority to get to the bottom of this matter and take any appropriate disciplinary action. I have ordered the Godolphin management to undertake an immediate review of our internal procedures and controls to ensure to prevent any reoccurrence of this type of activity in any stables of mine. 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. 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. I have worked hard to ensure that Godolphin deserves its reputation for integrity and sportsmanship, and I have reiterated to all Godolphin employees that I will not tolerate this type of behaviour.”