Second Newmarket trainer is facing ban for injecting steroids

Gerard Butler says more than 100 horses across the town’s stables have received treatment on vets’ advice

A racing industry still reeling from last week’s Godolphin drugs bombshell is set for a fresh shock today after a second Newmarket trainer disclosed to The Independent that he is facing a ban for injecting anabolic steroids.

Gerard Butler admits that several horses in his yard received treatment for injured joints, but says he was so confident in veterinary assurances about the medication in question that he entered its use in his official medical records – which were sent to the British Horseracing Authority, in connection with another matter, and returned without comment. He believes that more than 100 horses across the headquarters of British Flat racing have been given the same drug.

Last week, Mahmood Al Zarooni was given an eight-year ban after 11 horses tested positive to prohibited steroids after BHA officials made an unannounced visit to an elite stable owned by Sheikh Mohammed, the biggest investor in the sport’s history.

Al Zarooni confessed his guilt and was swiftly disowned by his former employers, who have shut down his stable pending voluntary testing on every horse.

The BHA, which dealt with Al Zarooni with unusual speed, has portrayed him as a brazen exception in a sport with a black-and-white zero tolerance of steroids. But the case also highlighted grey areas – including inconsistencies in other jurisdictions, notably Australia, and the difficulty in policing steroids when horses are out of training.

BHA rules apply only to licensed premises, meaning horses can be administered steroids while at rest elsewhere. Butler, who stresses his full co-operation with the BHA, is clear that his horses were medicated in training. But his vets’ suggestion that the drug was widely used in the town, given in good faith, persuaded him that he was not courting trouble. He claims to have since been advised that more than 100 Newmarket horses have had the same treatment – a possibility that suggests the sport cannot hope to wake from its sudden steroids nightmare any time soon.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Client IT Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client IT Account Manager is ...

Ashdown Group: Management Accountant / Analyst (CIMA finalist/newly qualified)

£32000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant / F...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - .NET

£27000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of a mark...

Recruitment Genius: Help Desk Specialist

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides Reliabili...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor