Mahmood Al Zarooni has been disqualified for eight years by the disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority after admitting administering anabolic steroids to horses in his care.

The Godolphin trainer said he had made a "catastrophic error" in using the banned drugs on a number of runners in his yard, including former Qipco 1000 Guineas favourite Certify.

Al Zarooni was called before the BHA at a hastily-arranged hearing on Thursday afternoon after 11 horses returned positive samples for ethylestranol and stanozolol following a random testing at his Newmarket yard earlier this month.

Al Zarooni issued a statement that read: "I would like to apologise to Sheikh Mohammed, as well as to all those involved with Godolphin and the public who follow British Racing.

"I accept that it was my responsibility to be aware of the rules regarding the use of prohibited substances in Britain. I can only apologise and repeat what I said in my statement earlier in the week, I have made a catastrophic error."

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford described it as "a terrible day for British racing".

He said: "This is a terrible situation. It's an awful situation that Godolphin has found themselves in. Mr Al Zarooni acted with awful recklessness and caused tremendous damage, not only to Godolphin and British racing.

"I think it will take a very long time for Godolphin to regain the trust of the British public. We're shocked and completely outraged by the actions he has taken."

Crisford also confirmed Al Zarooni had mentioned the names of three other people - two foremen and a veterinary assistant - who were "involved". However, he said the assistant had not broken any rules because he was unaware what substance he was administering.

 

(Source: britishhorseracing.com)