04/26/2013 12:57PM

All Al Zarooni-trained horses to be tested after Godolphin positives


The British Horseracing Authority will test all horses formerly trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni, who was banned for eight years on Thursday after 11 horses in his care for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Racing tested positive for banned anabolic steroids earlier this month at a stable in Newmarket, England.

In a statement released on Thursday, the racing authority’s chief executive, Paul Bittar, said that further interviews will be done with Godolphin staff regarding the positives, which were found during testing for out-of-competition testing.

“The BHA will itself consider the wider issues raised by this matter, and we will seek to ascertain and collate all other relevant information, including, when necessary, interviewing other employees or contractors of Godolphin,” Bittar said.

Godolphin officials have not stated who will replace Al Zarooni.

Wednesday, Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai, said that none of the horses from Al Zarooni’s stable would be allowed to start until precautionary drug tests were completed.

The suspension was announced after Al Zarooni appeared before a disciplinary hearing at the racing authority’s headquarters in London. After the hearing, Godolphin released a statement in which Al Zarooni said the administration of the steroids was “a catastrophic error.”

On the same day, the racing authority announced that 15 of Al Zarooni’s horses were suspended from racing until early October. The horses included the 11 who tested positive for the banned anabolic steroids ethylestranol and stanozolol on April 9, and four others Al Zarooni had told officials were given the same medication.

Al Zarooni, 37, was charged with multiple breaches of rules related to liability of trainers regarding prohibited substances, duty to keep medication records, and conduct prejudicial to horse racing.

Al Zarooni, an Emirati, had risen in prominence in the Godolphin operation in recent years, highlighted by a win in the 2012 Dubai World Cup with Monterosso.