Sheikh Mohammed outlaws steroids for UAE horse sports

Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, issued a decree on Thursday banning anabolic steroids in all horse-related sports in the United Arab Emirates.

Sheikh Mohammed's racing empire was rocked to the roots in April when it emerged that 11 horses at Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni's classic-winning yard had tested positive for anabolic steroids. The issues for Godolphin deepened on Monday when a further seven - including St Leger winner Encke - were tested positive for banned anabolic steroids.

"I have, in light of the unfortunate recent event, directed that a decree be issued making, with immediate effect, the import, sale, purchase or use of anabolic steroids in horse sports a criminal offence under the UAE penal laws," said Sheikh Mohammed said in a statement.

"I have always believed in the integrity of horse racing and all other horse sports," he said.

Anabolic steroids, banned in Britain, were allowed out of competition in countries including Australia, Dubai and the United States.

"Regrettably, one of my stables in Europe has recently fallen below the standards that I expect and will tolerate," Sheikh Mohammed said. "As soon as the internal investigations are complete and the requisite preemptory rules are put in place, Godolphin will go from strength to strength and lead, once again."

Zarooni, an Emirati, was found to have given anabolic steroids to the horses - which have been barred from racing for six months - at his stables at British racing headquarters in Newmarket, eastern England, at a British Horseracing Authority BHA hearing last month.

He has lodged an appeal to reduce the length of his eight-year suspension for doping offences, BHA announced on May 7.


- 'Appalled' Sheikh Mohammed locks down Godolphin stable

- Al Zarooni given eight year ban for role in Godolphin scandal

- Encke one of seven more Godolphin horses to test positive


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