Mahmood al-Zarooni accepts fate and drops his appeal

Disgraced Godolphin trainer decides to abandon plea against length of eight-year ban

Those who had been hoping that an appeal might substantiate a variety of colourful conspiracy theories can now test them only against Mahmood al-Zarooni's decision not to contest his suspension after all. As ever, however reluctantly, they should probably accept that the most pedestrian explanation for the latest twist in the tale – the British Horseracing Authority announced that Zarooni's solicitors had withdrawn his appeal – must also be counted the most likely.

It had seemed optimistic to the point of eccentricity for the disgraced Godolphin trainer, who was given an eight-year ban last month, to imagine that he had left himself much room for manoeuvre in his brazen admissions about the administration of anabolic steroids to 15 horses in his care. Those uncomfortable with the breathless haste of proceedings against him had admittedly been relieved that Zarooni, after waiving representation at the initial hearing, might at least have his case reprised by someone with a better grasp of legal niceties – not to mention the English language. But he only ever indicated an intention to protest against the severity of his penalty, and any case he might have made has since been drastically weakened by the only new detail to have emerged about the scandal.

In lavishly incriminating himself to BHA officials, Zarooni had volunteered the names of four other horses to have received steroids – in addition to the 11 who produced positive samples after random testing of 45 animals at his yard in Newmarket. But then the rest of the Moulton Paddocks string was tested and produced seven new positives, including the St Leger winner, Encke.

The BHA deferred any further action, on that account, pending the appeal already lodged by Zarooni. So those who hoped that unanswered questions might yet be addressed at a second hearing must now rely upon the BHA asking them in its own right. For while the extra seven cases might seem to compound Zarooni's guilt only as a matter of degree, it would certainly be worth establishing whether or not they sustain his submission – convenient as it was, both to his former employers and the regulators themselves – that he had acted alone. According to his own, lurid testimony about the 15 admitted cases, he passed unmarked syringes to junior assistants from his car window during a pre-season visit to the yard. Zarooni spent most of his winter in Dubai and, while his own testimony has been rendered unreliable by the new positives, some public account should be sought for seven extra cases among horses supervised for so many months by anonymous lieutenants.

While investigations continue into the medication regime at Moulton Paddocks, the stable can at least resume business next week. Saeed bin Suroor, supplanted by his former assistant as Godolphin's No 1 trainer over the past three years, has been licensed to take over after his own nearby yard produced 100 per cent clean results in tests undertaken by the BHA "for the sake of completeness". With the exception of the 22 horses tainted by Zarooni, who all remain suspended until the last week of the turf season, Bin Suroor is able to send out runners from Moulton Paddocks from next Tuesday.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice
music

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

News
i100
Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album