Mahmood Al Zarooni: considering appeal against eight-year banPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Al Zarooni considers appeal against drugs ban
MAHMOOD AL ZAROONI is considering an appeal against his eight-year ban for administering anabolic steroids to 15 horses.
The bombshell development came on the day Godolphin's former trainer was roundly condemned in the detailed findings, published on Tuesday, of the BHA disciplinary panel who accused him of an "attempt at cheating" and "underhand administration of illegal medication".
Al Zarooni used his Facebook page to gauge views on the question of challenging the panel's decision, writing: "Hello everybody. I have been advised to appeal the case, what are your opinions?"
The BHA earlier released the findings of the disciplinary panel revealing that Al Zarooni has filled five unmarked syringes with an illegal anabolic steroid, took them by car to his Newmarket stable and passed them through the window to an assistant with instructions to dope five horses.
Al Zarooni had written the names of the five horses on a list that he handed through his car window with the syringes to an unqualified veterinary assistant, Sharif Mahboob. At no time did Al Zarooni seek advice from his team of vets or record the injections in the medication record.
The BHA has accused Al Zarooni of seeking to gain an unfair advantage by administering illegal medication to his horses.
The statement released on Tuesday provided further detailed information on the drugs scandal that has sent shock waves through the racing industry after Al Zarooni was found to have administered anabolic steroids to 15 horses in his care.
It read: "The panel concluded that Al Zarooni sought to confer an unfair advantage on his horses by the underhand administration of illegal medication. His attempt at cheating was uncovered by the regulatory inspection and he had no justifiable excuse for his behaviour."
Al Zarooni's response since the scandal erupted was that he had made a "catastrophic error" and he wasn't fully aware that the use of steroids was not permitted in British racing.
The statement continued: "Al Zarooni explained at interview that his knowledge of the drug came from working in Dubai where use of anabolic steroids in training is permitted.
"He told the investigating officer that he thought the drug could be used if the horse was not racing. Al Zarooni confirmed that he had not recorded the administration of any of the anabolic steroids in the stable's medication books. He could offer no explanation for this omission.
"There was no excuse for Al Zarooni to be in any doubt as to the illegality of administering anabolic steroids. The BHA has publicised this issue and following the case of Howard Johnson in 2011 . . . was given further prominence."
Exact details of how the drugs were brought into Britain, and also how they were administered, were included in the statement.
"At the hearing Al Zarooni admitted, when questioned by the panel, that he personally brought the anabolic steroids into the UK in his luggage when returning from Dubai.
"In relation to the administration of Stanasol, he informed the panel that on March 14, 2013 he made up five unmarked syringes each containing 4ml of the drug from his bottle of the drug.
"He then drove to Moulton Paddocks Stables and passed the syringes out of his car window to an unqualified veterinary assistant, Sharif Mahboob, and asked him to give the drugs to five horses which he listed on a piece of paper."