A Blow to British Horse Racing
- NEWMARKET, England — It is called the sport of kings and it has been in this haven of racecourses, stables and studs since the 17th century, when King Charles I and his courtiers made the 100-mile journey here by horse-drawn carriages.
But the town has never known a darker passage than the past week. Another monarch, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum of Dubai, and Godolphin, his global horse racing enterprise, have been the talk of Britain after what The Times of London described as British racing’s “Lance Armstrong moment.”
On Monday, the British Horseracing Authority announced that 11 of the sheik’s best horses tested positive for banned anabolic steroids, including stanozolol and ethylestrenol, which can give horses a muscle strength that is well beyond their natural capacity. Forty-five Godolphin horses were tested in an out-of-competition sweep earlier this month at the Moulton Paddocks stables.
Godolphin, which has a billion-dollar roster of 5,000 racehorses stabled in 12 countries, including the United States and Japan, quickly announced that its own tests found four more of its Newmarket-based horses had banned steroids in their systems.....