• Horse racing

2012 St Leger winner Encke tests positive

ESPN staff
May 20, 2013
Mahmood Al Zarooni has lodged an appeal against the severity of his eight year suspension © PA Photos

The 2012 St Leger winner Encke is one of seven horses to have tested positive for anabolic steroids following further tests by the British Horseracing Authority at former Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni's Moulton Paddock stables.

Al Zarooni was issued an eight-year suspension from training by the BHA after admitting to administering banned substances to 15 horses in his care, including former 1,000 Guineas favourite Certify.

The BHA confirmed it will take no further action until the appeal lodged by Al Zarooni over the severity of his suspension is resolved.

Doncaster winner Encke tested positive for the steroid stanozolol, and has been banned from racing until October 29. The other six horses which tested positive - Energizer, Genius Beast, Improvisation, Stamford, Steeler and Zip Top - will also not be able to run again until that date.

The BHA also stated that testing at the other Godolphin yard, under the stewardship of Saeed bin Suroor, returned no positive results for banned substances. Bin Suroor will now take control of operations at Moulton Paddock.

"We will not be taking any separate action in respect of these additional positive results whilst Mr Al Zarooni's appeal process is on-going," the BHA director of integrity, legal and risk Adam Brickell said. "In the meantime, the latest findings from HFL Sport Science will form the subject of further interviews as part of the BHA's continuing investigation.

"One of the aims of the investigation, in addition to trying to understand the environment within which such serious breaches came to be committed, has been to identify what measures are needed to ensure the yard operates in accordance with the Rules in future. The findings will be shared with Godolphin and will also assist the BHA with regard to the future licensing of the yard."

BHA chief executive Paul Bittar added: "These test results endorse the swift action and measures taken by the BHA in this matter. Whatever the outcome of his appeal before the independent Appeal Board, the gravity and scale of the infringements warranted Mahmood Al Zarooni being removed from control of the yard as quickly as possible.

"We welcome the news that Saeed bin Suroor's horses tested negative and this clears the way for him to now take charge of Moulton Paddocks."

Encke's win at Doncaster denied 2,000 Guineas winner and Derby winner Camelot, trained by Aidan O'Brien, the first Triple Crown since 1970. Encke was tested after his win, but returned negative results.

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