Godolphin trainer gets 8-year ban for doping
Godolphin trainer gets 8-year ban for doping
The British Horseracing Authority handed the suspension to Mahmood Al-Zarooni at a disciplinary hearing after he admitted to giving 15 horses anabolic steroids at his stables in Newmarket, England.
All 15 horses were banned from racing for six months.
Al-Zarooni was charged with violating multiple rules related to banned substances, as well as failing to keep medication records and with conduct prejudicial to the sport.
“We believe that the eight-year disqualification issued to Mahmood Al-Zarooni ... will serve to reassure the public, and the sport’s participants, that use of performance-enhancing substances in British racing will not be tolerated and that the sport has in place a robust and effective anti-doping and medication control program,” BHA chief executive Paul Bittar said in a statement.
The banned horses include Certify, who had been the favorite for the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket next month before being pulled out of the race on Monday.
The scandal has already caused Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the head of Godolphin and ruler of Dubai, to lock down Al-Zarooni’s Moulton Paddocks stables in Newmarket, and order a round of blood tests for all his horses.
A mass media scrum hit Al-Zarooni when he arrived at BHA’s headquarters in central London with Simon Crisford, the racing manager of Godolphin — the most illustrious operation in horse racing.
Al-Zarooni, who represented himself at the hearing, said Monday he deeply regretted making a “catastrophic error,” saying the horses he doped weren’t racing at the time so he “did not realize that what I was doing was in breach of the rules of racing.”
At a routine visit of Al-Zarooni’s stables on April 9, the BHA tested 45 horses. Seven tested positive for ethylestranol and four for stanozolol — the same steroid found in the urine of Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson in his positive test at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.
Al-Zarooni has told investigating officers that he administered four more horses with the prohibited substances, but they weren’t tested when the BHA visited the stables.
“The relevant rules in this case are explicit in that the use of anabolic steroids in horses in the care of a licensed trainer is prohibited and that strict liability for everything administered to horses while they are in training lies with the trainer,” Bittar said. “The BHA’s investigation has established that the substances in question were administered on the instruction of Mahmood Al Zarooni.”
Sheik Mohammed said Wednesday he is “appalled and angered” at what has happened.
Arsenal, Chelsea win in Europa League as Rangers hold Villarreal
- I think we played well in the first half and in the beginning of the second as well: Aubameyang
- Chelsea made a winning start to their Group L campaign as Willian's seventh-minute effort was enough to see off PAOK
PARIS: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice as Arsenal defeated Ukraine's Vorskla Poltava 4-2 in the Europa League on Thursday, while in-form Chelsea began their campaign with a 1-0 win away to PAOK in Greece.
Aubameyang has struggled to hit top gear in the Premier League so far with just one goal in five starts, but the Gabon striker opened the scoring in London after 32 minutes of the Group E encounter.
Danny Welbeck nodded in a second just after half-time and Aubameyang curled in the Gunners' third, with Mesut Ozil also on target before a lapse in concentration saw Vorskla hit back with two late goals.
"I think we played well in the first half and in the beginning of the second as well," Aubameyang told BT Sport.
"We have to improve and try to fight not to concede a goal like we did in the last minute."
Premier League leaders Chelsea made a winning start to their Group L campaign as Willian's seventh-minute effort was enough to see off PAOK at a hostile Toumba Stadium.
Eden Hazard was omitted from the Chelsea squad at his own request due to fatigue, but manager Maurizio Sarri fielded a strong side as the Blues extended their winning run to six games in all competitions.
"We were in control of the match for 90 minutes. We had a lot of opportunities. We missed them and so I'm very happy with the three points, very happy with the performance, but not very happy with the result," said Sarri.
"When it's time to kill the match, we have to kill the match."
Steven Gerrard's Rangers acquitted themselves well on their first appearance in the group stage of a European competition since the 2010-11 Champions League, as they came away with a 2-2 draw against Villarreal.
A disastrous start for the Glasgow side saw Carlos Bacca fire Villarreal ahead inside 60 seconds, but Scott Arfield turned home a cross from Daniel Candeias to level on 67 minutes.
Gerard Moreno put the hosts back in front almost immediately, only for Kyle Lafferty to again hit back for Rangers as Gerrard's men made a solid start in Group G.
Leigh Griffiths hit a late winner for Celtic in a 1-0 home victory over Rosenborg, a team Brendan Rodgers' side knocked out in this season's Champions League qualifying rounds.
Salzburg triumphed in the clash of Red Bulls in the other Group B fixture as Fredrik Gulbrandsen scored a minute from time to give the Austrian club a 3-2 victory over RB Leipzig.
Marseille, last season's runners-up, slumped to a 2-1 home defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt in Group H as Luka Jovic grabbed an 89th-minute winner for the reigning German Cup champions.
Lucas Ocampos opened the scoring early for Marseille, who were playing behind closed doors at the Stade Velodrome after numerous crowd incidents last season.
But Lucas Torro levelled on 52 minutes for Eintracht before Jovic's late strike won it.
Dudelange, the first Luxembourg team to play in the Europa League group stage, made seven-time European champions AC Milan work hard for a 1-0 win in Group F.
Luxembourg's Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were in the crowd as Dudelange, who have a dozen non-professional players in their squad, succumbed to a deflected second-half goal by Gonzalo Higuain.
Record five-time winners Sevilla launched their Group J campaign with a 5-1 rout of Standard Liege, as Ever Banega and Wissam Ben Yedder both netted twice for the Spaniards.