Former Godolphin trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni launched an appeal Tuesday against the severity of his eight-year worldwide ban for doping race horses at his stables in Newmarket.

Al-Zarooni was handed the lengthy suspension by the British Horseracing Authority on April 25 after admitting to giving 15 horses anabolic steroids, following a routine visit of his Moulton Paddocks Stables by testers.

"The appeal is against the severity of the penalty of eight years disqualification imposed on Mr. al-Zarooni by the disciplinary panel at the hearing,'' the BHA said in a statement.

"The date for the appeal hearing will be confirmed in due course.''

The doping case has rocked British horse racing and brought major embarrassment to Godolphin and its owner Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai.

The stables formerly run by the 37-year-old al-Zarooni have been locked down in the wake of the scandal.

Al-Zarooni was charged with violating multiple rules related to banned substances, as well as failing to keep medication records and with conduct prejudicial to the sport.

Seven horses tested positive for ethylestranol and four for stanozolol - the same steroid found in the urine of Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson in his positive test at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.

Al-Zarooni told investigating officers that he also administered four more horses with the prohibited substances, but they weren't tested when the BHA visited the stables.

 

Source: AP