Probe Into Drug Seizure Ordered By Sheikh Mohammed

An investigation into the seizure of an illegal shipment including unlicensed veterinary goods from a private jet owned by Dubai government at Stansted airport in May has been ordered by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, and his wife HH Princess Haya.

President of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports, Princess Haya, will be in the charge of a comprehensive probe into the seizure of thousands of pounds that British newspaper The Guardian says include anesthetics, steroidal injections, and anti-inflammatories some of which, if used in an incorrect manner, could be harmful to horses. Sheikh Mohammed appointed former Metropolitan Police chief Lord Stevens for conducting an internal inquiry into the drug-related incidents that have rocked his equine empire.

It was also claimed by the newspaper that Princess Haya, will meet Lord Stevens, the former Metropolitan police chief for discussing her investigation and a directive has already been sent by her to those running the equine operations of Sheikh Mohammed, including Godolphin. It is done with an aim to ensure there is no breach of regulations and this may establish a centralized auditing system for ensuring strict control over the movement and purchase of veterinary goods. The report also stated that Princess Haya will also conduct investigations into a separate raid by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate at Moorley Farm in Newmarket, a location owned by his highness’s Darley Management operation when 124 products were seized on August 7.

The shipment seized at Stansted airport didn’t include anabolic androgenic steroids but are believed to be products for use on endurance horses, says The Guardian. This claim is presently being investigated by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate in conjunction with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. The Guardian also claims that it has full inventory details of the seized products that have been forwarded to Godolphin and the British Horseracing Authority.

Lord Stevens said he has been asked by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed to oversee an internal inquiry that will examine organizational structures, internal communication, and veterinary practices at all of the major components of Sheikh Mohammed’s equestrian properties and operations, including Darley, Godolphin, Meydan and Janah, the equine flight company. He added we will look into events surrounding the seizures at Stansted and Moorley Farm, including the chain of custody for the medications in question and their intended purpose and will also look beyond those specific events for a wide-ranging assessment of veterinary procedures and practices to determine whether they are in support of horse welfare and in keeping with all applicable laws and regulations. Lord Stevens added Sheikh Mohammed is adamant that any evidence of violations of law or regulation in any jurisdiction should be shared with the appropriate authorities and our primary focus is on preventing any future systemic failures. He added we will identify best practices and develop protocols and procedures to streamline and improve management and operations and also added that we have agreed that we will not wait until the inquiry is finished to suggest any improvements that should be implemented more quickly.

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