Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, will enact legislation to ban the import, selling and buying of banned performance-enhancing drugs in horse racing and equine sports.
The announcement comes following a doping scandal at the end of April, which saw Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni banned from racing for eight years by the British Horseracing Authority, after horses in his care tested positive for two banned anabolic steroids. While 11 horses actually tested positive, Al Zarooni admitted to administering banned substances to four others as well.
Sheikh Mohammed said, “We have firm convictions of the fairness in horse races and other equine sports in the UAE. We are keen to find a legal framework that preserves it so as to set an example that will be emulated in complete compliance with laws and international standards governing the noble sports. This confirms our determination to safeguard equine sports, which is deeply entrenched in history and heritage.”
Sheikh Mohammed has instructed authorities to expedite enactment of the bill as a preventive measure to combat the use of steroids in all forms and from its main roots.
The proposed law will criminalize any doping activities, from trafficking to consumption.