LONDON, (Reuters) – Godolphin trainer Mahmood al Zarooni personally brought anabolic steroids into Britain from Dubai to administer to racehorses, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) said yesterday in a written explanation of his eight year ban for doping.
The BHA accused the employee of Dubai ruler and Godolphin owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum of a “deliberate flouting” of the rules and a “widespread systematic misuse of illegal substances”. It said he had also handed the drugs to unqualified staff at the stables in Newmarket, the headquarters of British flat racing, to administer them.
In a scandal that has caused serious embarrassment to Sheikh Mohammed, al Zarooni was banned last week after 11 horses in his care tested positive for anabolic steroids and he admitted administering prohibited substances to four others. The BHA said that Al Zarooni had told its disciplinary panel that he had brought the steroids into the country when he flew back from Dubai.
Referring to the use of Stanasol, containing the banned steroid stanozolol, the trainer said that on March 14 he had “made up five unmarked syringes each containing 4ml of the drug from his bottle of the drug. “He then drove to Moulton Paddocks Stables and passed the syringes out of his car window to an unqualified veterinary assistant, Sharif Mahboob, and asked him to give the drugs to five horses which he listed on a piece of paper.
“All five horses were under veterinary care at the time in respect of musculoskeletal problems and in one case, colic. Al Zarooni said he thought the drug would help improve the horses’ condition.”