Sheikh Mohammed exonerated by doping scandal report

Sheikh Mohammed exonerated by doping scandal report
sheikh mohammed and al zarooni

Left: Sheikh Mohammed (innocent). Right: Al Zarooni (guilty)

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum is the UK’s leading racehorse owner. Racing needs him and his investment. Especially flat racing.

So it will be a relief to all that, as expected, he has been cleared of having any knowledge of three drug-related incidents involving his organisation in 2013. I didn’t hear anyone allege, with any confidence, that the Sheikh will have known about the sorry affair that centred around one of his stables.

Lord Stevens, the former Metropolitan Police chief commissioner, was employed to investigate a series of damaging incidents. He interviewed key figures involved in the scandal, including the disgraced trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni. He was found guilty of for injecting thoroughbreds at the Godolphin stable with performance-enhancing anabolic steroids. Zarooni has been banned from training racehorses for 8 years but is not expected to be seen involved in the sport, at least in the UK, ever again.

The report concluded that the seizures of unlicensed veterinary goods by British authorities resulted from “a sense of complacency” within the Sheikh’s management structure.

Lord Stevens said: “Although HH Sheikh Mohammed’s equestrian operations are unusual in their size and scope, our review has highlighted the complexities of a regulatory framework that is a challenge for the entire equestrian industry.

“Throughout our investigation of the three entirely separate incidents, we have established that no evidence whatsoever exists to suggest that HH Sheikh Mohammed had any knowledge of the purchase, transportation or use of any unregulated medicines. Equally neither did he have any knowledge of the illegal activities of Mahmood al-Zarooni.”

The headline findings and decisions from the Stevens report were:

• Sheikh Mohammed had no knowledge of the incidents involving Zarooni, Stansted and Moorley Farm

• Royal Dubai Air Wing Aircraft has been banned from transporting veterinary medicines

• That “management oversight” contributed to the seizures and the Zarooni scandal

• That Zarooni “acted alone” when administrating anabolic steroids to Godolphin thoroughbreds

• The set-up of an internal compliance unit which will monitor Sheikh Mohammed’s equine operations

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