05/29/2013 2:41PM

Al Zarooni drops appeal of eight-year suspension


Former Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni has withdrawn an appeal of an eight-year suspension for administering steroids to runners in his stable in England earlier this year, the British Horseracing Authority announced Wednesday.

The eight-year suspension was announced April 25 and Al Zarooni announced days later that he planned to appeal. Wednesday, his lawyers said he would not pursue the appeal.

“The BHA received notice from the solicitors of Mahmood Al Zarooni that he has withdrawn his appeal regarding his eight-year disqualification,” a BHA spokesman said. “Our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the Al Zarooni case continues.”

Godolphin Racing is the showcase stable of Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai. With Al Zarooni, Godolphin won the 2010 Dubai World Cup with Monterosso.

Al Zarooni, 37, could face further sanctions from the BHA. The initial suspension was based on positives found in 11 of his runners on April 9. Al Zarooni later said that four other horses had been administered the banned steroids ethylestranol and stanozolol.

After the initial positives, the BHA conducted testing on all Al Zarooni-trained runners. An additional seven horses were found to be positive for steroids from those tests, the BHA announced May 20. The BHA may take further action against Al Zarooni for the second group of positives, the ruling body said.

The 22 horses found to have tested positive have been banned from racing until autumn.