Bookmakers To Refund Bets

According to an announcement by Ladbrokes and William Hill, they will be refunding thousands of pounds worth of bets on eleven horses that tested positive for anabolic steroids.

This news came as British Horseracing Authority (BHA) faces its biggest-ever doping scandal after 11 horses at one of the top racing stables of the country tested positive for anabolic steroids, ethylestrenol and Stanozolol. The samples were taken from the Godolphin stables in Moulton Paddocks, Newmarket, on April 9. Seven horses were found to have ethylestranol in their system and four for the drug Stanozolol. The Godolphin stable was founded in 1992 and has won more than 2,000 races worldwide, with winners in 14 countries.

Ladbrokes has said it will return £200,000 worth of bets placed on horses tested positive for steroids. The career earnings of the 11 horses are Desert Blossom (Career earnings: $19,262), Certify ($254,829), Fair Hill, Ghostflower ($2,819), Orkney Island, Sweet Rose, Valley Of Queens ($2,088), Artigiano ($68,952), Bathrat Amal, Opinion Poll ($1,671,075), and Restraint Of Trade ($21,230).

William Hill said it would refund all ante-post bets on four horses from the Godolphin stables – Certify, Desert Bloom, Artigiano, and Restraint Of Trade. Coral has confirmed it is also refunding bets placed on the same four horses.

This is an unprecedented eventuality, and no-one betting could have predicted these events, William Hill spokesperson Kate Miller said and added that we believe the fairest result for our customers is to refund their bets placed on the Godolphin runners.

Meanwhile, Paddy Power is to refund all bets on Certify for the 1000 Guineas while it checks its position on other affected horses.

In another development, Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni will attend a British Horseracing Authority inquiry after irregularities were discovered in 11 of 45 racehorses. Godolphin is the Maktoum family’s private thoroughbred horseracing stable and is overseen by the constitutional monarch of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed, who appointed Al Zarooni three years ago. Zarooni faces a lengthy ban from the sport after admitting administering the drugs at the Godolphin stables in Newmarket.

The trainer however said he did not know it was an offense to use the drugs when the horses were not racing and remarked that he can only apologize for the damage caused to Godolphin and to racing generally. The racing manager of Godolphin’s patron Sheikh Mohammed, who has invested hundreds of millions of pounds in British racing over the last 20 years, Simon Crisford said the findings marked a “dark day” for the stables and said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed was absolutely appalled when he was told and this is completely unacceptable to him and we will await the outcome of the BHA inquiry before taking any further internal action. He also said Sheikh Mohammed has instructed me to begin an urgent review of all of our procedures and controls, which is already under way and we will take advice from the BHA in completing it.

National Trainers Federation chief executive Rupert Arnold said he had been “shocked” by the test results and remarked the Godolphin management, for whom Zarooni trains, is a byword for the highest levels of professionalism, integrity and sportsmanship. Arnold added that news reports so far suggest this case is an aberration and is not indicative of wider use of anabolic steroids in British horseracing and went on to add that we fully endorse the British Horseracing Authority’s testing in training regime and all efforts to prevent the use of any prohibited substance to gain an unfair advantage.

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