Godolphin Racehorses Test Positive for Steroids

Godolphin Racehorses Test Positive for Steroids

Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni has admitted to administering anabolic steroids to 11 horses at the Moulton Paddocks Stables, near Newmarket, England, that tested positive for the prohibited substances.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni has admitted to administering anabolic steroids to 11 horses at the Moulton Paddocks Stables, near Newmarket, England, that tested positive for the prohibited substances.

Under the British Horseracing Authority's (BHA) testing in training program, the horses tested positive for the prohibited substances ethylestranol and stanozolol, both anabolic steroids. Group I winner Certify, who had been pointing for the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas (Eng-I) at Newmarket next month, tested positive for ethylestranol and will not be allowed to compete in the classic.

"Ethylestranol and stanozolol are anabolic steroids and therefore prohibited substances under British Rules of Racing, at any time, either in training or racing," said BHA director of integrity, legal, and risk Adam Brickell. "Mahmood Al Zarooni has been advised of the analysts' findings and has been visited by an investigating officer."

Brickell said Al Zarooni will be called to a disciplinary hearing at the first available opportunity.

Other horses who tested positive for ethylestranol include group II-placed Desert Blossom, Fair Hill, Ghostflower, Orkney Island, Sweet Rose, and Valley Of Queens. Horses who tested positive for stanozolol include group II-placed Artigiano, Bathrat Amal, multiple group II winner Opinion Poll, and Restraint of Trade.

"This is a dark day for Godolphin. We are all shocked by what has happened," said Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford in a Godolphin release.

"His Highness Sheikh Mohammed was absolutely appalled when he was told and this is completely unacceptable to him. We will await the outcome of the BHA inquiry before taking any further internal action. Sheikh Mohammed has instructed me to begin an urgent review of all of our procedures and controls. That is already under way and we will take advice from the BHA in completing it."

Al Zarooni took responsibility, saying he thought the substances were permitted out of racing.

"I deeply regret what has happened," Al Zarooni said in a Godolphin release. "I have made a catastrophic error. Because the horses involved were not racing at the time, I did not realize that what I was doing was in breach of the rules of racing. I can only apologize for the damage this will cause to Godolphin and to racing generally."

Originally published on BloodHorse.com.

About the Author

Frank Angst

Frank Angst is a staff writer for The Blood-Horse magazine. An American Horse Publications three-time winner in best news story category, Angst has covered horse racing for more than a decade. Angst spent ten years at Thoroughbred Times, where he earned awards as that magazine’s senior writer and helped launch Thoroughbred Times TODAY. Besides covering horse racing, Angst enjoys handicapping. Angst has written about sports for more than 20 years, including several seasons covering a nationally ranked Marshall Thundering Herd football team.

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