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Thursday 12, Dec 2013

  Butler Banned For Five Years

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Butler Banned For Five Years

Irish trainer Gerard Butler has been banned from racing for five years by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) over doping offenses. This was after the 47-year-old, who is based in Newmarket, admitted to seven charges at an inquiry after nine horses in his care tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid.

It was earlier claimed by the trainer that veterinary surgeons had assured him that Rexogin (which contains Stanozolol and is designed for human bodybuilding) was legal, but the British Horseracing Authority said he was culpable of an appalling breach of his duty to look after the interests of the horses in his care.  During the hearing, Butler revealed that he had bought the Stanozolol online from the UK Steroids Pharmacy and purchased a preparation called Rexogin and not Sungate.

A few weeks ago, Butler had previously admitted to using Sungate, a steroid that is used for treating joint pain, but Butler revealed at the hearing that he had used Rexogin, which is 10 times more concentrated. It was heard by the BHA panel that the Irish trainer administered Rexogin to four horses using a method of injection reserved for qualified vets. The BHA panel remarked the behavior of Butler in administering the injections was consistent with the underhand and covert manner in which he purchased the drug and Butler’s evidence revealed an appalling dereliction of his duty as a licensed trainer.

It was further disclosed by the BHA panel that Butler, by his own admission, kept no clear financial records or any invoice from the purchase of the Rexogin, he did not have the horses properly assessed prior to their treatment and made no recording in his medication records having injected the horses. The BHA panel also remarked that Gerald Butler used junior stable staff to help him who would not question his actions and deceived his senior stable staff and kept from them important information about the treatment given to the horses.

The BHA’s director of integrity, legal and risk Adam Brickell said our position was that the most serious charges related to Gerard Butler’s gross failure to look after the best interests of horses in his care and the rules are clear that the license holder, in this case Butler, is wholly responsible for the presence of prohibited substance in horses in his care and control. Brickell added that we taking this all into account summarized that the actions of Butler represented an appalling breach of his duty and amounted to conduct that was seriously prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct, and good reputation of horseracing in Great Britain.

The Irishman is the second trainer to be banned this year by the British Horseracing Authority for doping horses after Mahmood Al Zarooni, who trained for Godolphin owner and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who was guilty of administering anabolic steroids at his stables in Newmarket.

The ban of Butler will last until December 2018, and he has a period of 48 hours to arrange the relocation of his horses.

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Monday 10, Jun 2013

  Horse Doping Could Be Widespread

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Horse Doping Could Be Widespread

The British Horseracing Authority admitted that the doping crisis of the sport had spread and horses from a number of yards in Newmarket had been prescribed Sungate, a prohibited joint treatment containing the steroid Stanozolol.

The authority is presently investigating the use of Sungate after its use came to light when a number of horses trained by Gerard Butler tested positive for steroids in February. It was later discovered that the veterinary practice which advised Butler to use Sungate gave the same advice to other trainers though the British Horseracing Authority was not prepared to say how many other yards were now under suspicion.

A BHA statement hinted that the veterinary practice in question had not given a list of the horses which were treated with the prohibited joint treatment and that its investigators were coming at it through those trainers which are clients of the practice and going through their medication records, where its use should have been recorded. The fact that veterinary surgeons do not come under the jurisdiction of the BHA and are under no obligation to name names makes things difficult for the BHA. The statement concluded by emphasizing that under the Rules of Racing, licensed trainers are “strictly liable” for any prohibited substances administered to horses under their care and control, which means that using a prohibited substance even under veterinary advice is no defense.

According to the BHA statement, Sungate is intended to assist in the treatment and management of joint disease in horses. It contains Stanozolol, an anabolic steroid and consequently a prohibited substance under the Rules of Racing. It also disclosed that the BHA has met with representatives of the veterinary practice in question and as a result of that meeting the BHA believes that Gerard Butler was not the only trainer to whom the administration of Sungate was recommended. The statement also revealed that veterinary surgeons are not bound by the Rules of Racing, but are subject to their own rules of professional conduct and therefore in order to establish the extent of the use of the product, BHA Investigating Officers will be interviewing trainers who are known to use the same veterinary practice.

Butler went public with the news that he was also under investigation for steroid use shortly after Mahmood Al Zarooni had been banned for eight years for administering steroids. Butler remarked that he had been advised to use it by his vets. The trainer is in added trouble for administering the product himself that is illegal and he estimates that 100 horses had been treated with the product across Newmarket.

In another development, seven horses, including the 2012 St Leger winner Encke, failed tests for anabolic steroids. The new results take the total number to 22 of Godolphin-owned thoroughbreds that are consequently suspended from racing for six months. Racing manager Simon Crisford said it is obviously very disappointing that seven further horses have tested positive for Stanozolol. Crisford added these results highlight why H.H. Sheikh Mohammed took the decision to lock down the stables at Moulton Paddocks until every Godolphin horse in training at Newmarket had been tested.

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