• Horse racing

Godolphin avoid further charges

ESPN staff
July 25, 2013
The BHA is happy Mahmood Al Zarooni operated alone © PA Photos

Godolphin's Newmarket stable will face no further doping charges after a British Horseracing Authority (BHA) investigation decided that disgraced trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni operated alone.

"The investigation process has been a complex and challenging one," Paul Bittar, chief executive of the BHA, said. "I am satisfied that the conclusions reached are an accurate reflection of events.

"The evidence gathered from this investigation has confirmed that Al Zarooni acted autonomously and was the person solely responsible for the events that took place at Moulton Paddocks.

"However, we have identified significant failings in the processes in place and management structure at the yard which allowed these events to unfold without senior management becoming aware. These findings have been shared with Godolphin.

"Fortunately cases such as this - both in terms of scale and profile - are incredibly rare, however there are areas where we can learn from the issues raised."

Al Zarooni was handed an eight-year ban after it was found that 11 horses had tested positive and he subsequently admitted to doping another four. In all, 22 horses at the stables tested positives for banned substances.

The BHA said that Charlie Appleby, Al Zarooni's assistant, who is now in control of Moulton Paddocks, had no knowledge of any wrongdoings. "This was made clear to the licensing committee, which has confirmed that Appleby is suitable to hold a trainer's licence," Bittar said. "We are aware that Appleby has already begun the process of implementing changes to the management structure and procedures at the yard and we will encourage him, as the licensed trainer, to continue to implement such changes, including addressing all of the points set out in our report.

"Conversely, Al Zarooni's refusal to cooperate further with the investigation will be drawn to the attention of the licensing committee should he ever seek to return to British racing following his eight-year disqualification."

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