04/22/2013 1:31PM

Godolphin horses test positive for steroids

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Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni accepted blame for the positives in a statement on the Godolphin website.

Trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni faces a likely suspension from British authorities after 11 horses he trains for Sheikh Mohammed’s powerful Godolphin Racing stable tested positive for banned substances in out-of-competition testing, the British Horseracing Authority announced on Monday.

A group of 45 horses trained by Al Zarooni in England were tested on April 9 and the 11 were found to be positive for the anabolic steroids ethylestranol and stanozolol.

The 11 horses include Certify, who was a leading contender for the English 1000 Guineas at Newmarket Racecourse on May 5. As a result of a positive test for Ethylestranol, Certify has been banned from starting in that race, the racing authority said in a statement.

Al Zarooni, who won the 2012 Dubai World Cup with Monterosso, faces a disciplinary hearing with the racing authority, and is likely to be suspended or fined. No date has been set for a hearing.

In a statement on the Godolphin website, Al Zarooni accepted blame for the positives.

“I deeply regret what has happened,” he said. “I have made a catastrophic error. Because the horses involved were not racing at the time, I didn’t realize that what I was doing was in breach of the rules of racing.”

In a statement, Godolphin’s racing manager, Simon Crisford, said, “This is a dark day for Godolphin. Sheikh Mohammed was absolutely appalled when he was told, and this is completely unacceptable to him.”

Crisford said that Godolphin will await the British Horseracing Authority’s inquiry before taking “any further internal action.” He said that Sheikh Mohammed has ordered a review of Godolphin’s “procedures and controls.”

The 37-year-old Al Zarooni, an Emirati, became an official trainer for Godolphin in 2010, and has risen in prominence in that operation in the last few years. Last year in England, he won the Group 1 St. Leger with Encke for Godolphin.

Certify, who won the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket last September, is the most prominent horse who tested positive. The 3-year-old filly Desert Blossom, who finished third in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes in 2012, also tested positive for ethylestranol.

Four horses tested positive for stanozolol, including Artigiano, who was sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita last November, and Opinion Poll, who won the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan Racecourse in 2012.

Dena Beebe More than 1 year ago
this is not good! but as far pletcher looks good in compersin is bs! he has more volitions that get swept under the rug than any body! he has cocain positives along w many others! doug oneil has volitions yes but nothing like this....
JOE More than 1 year ago
godolphin was appalled yeah right, like he doesn,t have a clue the RAMSEY , HAVE THE STATE OF KENTUCKEY IN HIS POCKET HES THE MAYOR HEREGULATES ALL THE POLITICS THERE ROMANS HAS LOUISIANA ITS A VICIUOS CIRCLE.
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
and these facts you have are based on??????????????????///////
JOE More than 1 year ago
this is beyond the doug oniels todd pletcher jeff mullins rudy rodriguez the lists continues the sport of kings is surely dieing.Sombody has to step up to the plate and put a halt to all the cheating
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
mullins is winning at 7%
Matthew Weaver More than 1 year ago
Where are all these European horse racing lovers who think that there is no cheating and everyone there is so ethical and high n mighty..... the fact is that all horses take lasix in Europe while in training except ON race days. And when in their off season they are given all sorts of PEDs . They are NO better then american based owners and trainers.
russell More than 1 year ago
i agree... cricketts
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
the difference , if you actually read the article , is that one horse gas been banned from entry and I GUARANTEE the action taken will be more decisive than any action here. Europe , like in most things , is far ahead of the USA
Robin Dawson More than 1 year ago
I don't think that the BHA dares to conduct a spot-check on Saeed bin Suroor's stable, for fear of what they might find.
Black More than 1 year ago
Yep.
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
u base that assertion on???
Black More than 1 year ago
He bases it on the fact that Mo is a hypocritical cheat.
walesfoodmusic More than 1 year ago
the fact is that steriods are merely the tip of the drug iceberg.How about all the blood enhancers,pain killers,vaso dilators and as well numerous test bypassers?.Simon Crisford reports that Sheikh Mohammed is appalled,but he fails to mention that the Sheikh has access to his own state of the art laboratory in Dubai.The proof is sometimes found in fresh pudding.
Mooch J More than 1 year ago
Win at any and all costs, that seems the way of the world, sports, business etc.
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
"Simon Crisford, said, “This is a dark day for Godolphin. Sheikh Mohammed was absolutely appalled when he was told, and this is completely unacceptable to him.”....since when the hell did the sheikh become a babe in the woods ?
Sue More than 1 year ago
He certainly isn't. The Sheik himself was suspended a few years ago by the FEI for riding a doped endurance horse..
russell More than 1 year ago
I know I will get villified here but there is only two ways to go on medication. Either make it the 'Wild West" where anything goes and there are no rules or become extremely more vigilant. The status quo isn't working when you have the largest operations in the world busted. Not 1 horse but 11.
Dan More than 1 year ago
Want to solve the drug problem? Put a security person on every vet truck that goes on the backside. Any horse that tests positive, make the TRAINER repay the purse, not the owner. After 3violations, all horses under the trainer's control will not be allowed to run until the suspension is over. Owners will have to decide if it is good business to stay with cheaters and risk their horses not being allowed to run, or go to a trainer of quality.
russell More than 1 year ago
You have hold the owner accountable. The owner puts the screws to the trainer
Nathan More than 1 year ago
godolphin will have to fire all their chemists.