- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

LONDON (AP) - Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum was cleared of any direct involvement in the Godolphin doping scandal by an internal inquiry on Wednesday.

The sheikh, who owns Godolphin, hired former Metropolitan Police chief commissioner Lord Stevens to review reports following the discovery last year of unauthorized veterinary products at Moorley Farm in Newmarket, which is owned by the sheikh’s Darley Stud operation, and also on a private jet at Stansted Airport.

The doping scandal led to the downfall of Godolphin trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni, who was banned for eight years by the British Horseracing Authority for giving his horses anabolic steroids.

Mirroring the BHA findings, the Stevens report said the seizures resulted from “management failings, insufficient oversight, and complacency within the organisation” but concluded the sheikh had no knowledge of illegal operations.

“We have established that no evidence whatsoever exists to suggest that HH Sheikh Mohammed had any knowledge of the purchase, transportation or use of any unregulated medicines. Equally neither did he have any knowledge of the illegal activities of Mahmood Al Zarooni,” Stevens said.

The review confirmed that Al Zarooni acted alone in procuring and transporting drugs to Britain and recommended stronger management, clearer accountability and better internal communication within the equestrian organization.

“In our discussions with HH Sheikh Mohammed, he agreed to create a task force of experts to suggest ways to make it easier for all affected stakeholders in the equestrian industry to comply with the regulations,” Stevens said. “He will ask the task force to consider the creation of a global database containing country-by-country information on registered products that could be easily accessible to those seeking to transport veterinary medicine.”

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