Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai has had 11 of his race horses banned from competition in the UK. When authorities did a check of 45 of his thoroughbreds at the Godolphin Stables, eleven were found to have banned substances in their bloodstream.
Sheikh Mohammed, who is the largest owner of race horses in the world is reportedly appalled at the news. Blame appears to be falling on trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni who is quoted in a report from Bloomberg News.
“I have made a catastrophic error,” he said. “Because the horses involved were not racing at the time, I did not realize that what I was doing was in breach of the rules.”
Mr. Al Zarooni has been a trainer at the Godolphin Stables since March of 2010. The eleven horses that are currently banned from racing have already claimed $2 million in prize money. It is really unfortunate that the head trainer for the stables in the UK was ignorant that doping horses was banned. The Godolphin Stables page gives a short biography of Mr. Al Zarooni, in which it details his training career starting in the 1990s.
It must be difficult to keep track of what trainers are doing when you own more race horses than anyone else. In 2009 the Sheikh had been banned from long distance racing for six months due to doping. His trainer took the blame in that case as well.