Friday, April 26, 2013

Great Britain: Mahmood al-Zarooni's time with banned trainer raises questions - Full Article

Chris Cook
The Guardian, Thursday 25 April 2013

• Mubarak bin Shafya was suspended for steroids
• Godolphin play down significance of connection

As Simon Crisford, Godolphin's spokesman, fielded questions about Mahmood al-Zarooni on Thursday, he found himself answering queries about another trainer banned for the use of anabolic steroids with whom Zarooni had a strong association. Before being hired as Godolphin's second trainer in Newmarket, Zarooni served as assistant in Dubai to Mubarak bin Shafya, who was banned from the separate sport of endurance racing in 2011 over the use of stanozolol, one of the steroids that Zarooni has admitted using.

Crisford played down the significance of Shafya in Zarooni's racing education, saying that the latter had served 10 years under another trainer, Ali al-Raihe, compared with just one under Shafya. He pointed out that Shafya's case came after Zarooni had been hired, adding of Shafya: "He didn't get banned from thoroughbred racing. I wouldn't have been aware of that."

Pressed as to whether Shafya's case raised any concerns for Godolphin over Zarooni, Crisford said: "What are you trying to imply? We didn't take it into consideration."

Shafya was banned for two years by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), the governing body for Olympic equestrian events as well as endurance racing after Castlebar Kadeen, a horse he trained, tested positive for stanozolol at an event in Abu Dhabi in November 2010...

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