• Horse Racing

Al Zarooni will never work for me again - Mohammed

ESPN staff
January 13, 2014
Mickael Barzalona wins the St Leger on Encke, one of the horses banned following the scandal © PA Photos

Sheikh Mohammed says banned trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni will never work with his Godolsphin racing team horses again.

Al Zarooni was banned for eight years in April 2013 for administering banned anabolic steroids to racehorses at a stable in Newmarket, including St Leger winner Encke and 1,000 Guineas contender Certify.

Mohammed - the ruler of Dubai who founded Godolphin in 1992- was talking about the steroids affair for the first time and told the BBC he is taking a hard line on the disgraced trainer.

"I was shocked," the shiekh told the BBC.

"I have many trainers and if one of them does the wrong things, you know - they gave him eight years, and I gave him lifetime. Finished."

All the horses found to have been given steroids by the British Horseracing Authority were banned from racing for six months, with Charlie Appleby taking over the running of Moulton Paddocks.

In September, amid a fresh endurance racing controversy, former London police chief Lord Stevens was called in to oversee an internal inquiry into the sheikh's worldwide equine interests, in a move which followed seizures of illegal veterinary drugs from stables near Newmarket.

The sheikh insisted he and wife Princess Haya had called on Lord Stevens to lead the inquiry to clear his name of any complicit knowledge in the doping scandal.

"He doped them not for racing but for treatment for the long term and they would not come to see the races. Now Lord Stevens will find out the whole story and we will all know what happened," Mohammed said.

"We put an investigator, Lord Stevens, to really go through everything and meet everybody and I think he is independent and doing a good job. He hasn't finished yet but I hope good luck for him.

"The truth will come out because of independent Lord Stevens."

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