Trainer gets eight-year ban
Godolphin trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni was disqualified for eight years by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on Thursday for doping racehorses in a scandal that has caused serious embarrassment to Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Eleven horses trained by al-Zarooni in Newmarket, England for owner Sheikh Mohammed tested positive for anabolic steroids, including ethylestrenol and stanozolol. Al-Zarooni, who won the Dubai World Cup — the world’s richest horse race — for Godolphin last year with Monterosso, also admitted administering prohibited substances to four other horses under his care. “We believe that the eight-year disqualification issued to Mahmood al-Zarooni by the disciplinary panel, together with the six month racing restriction placed on the horses in question by the BHA, will serve to reassure the public, and the sport’s participants, that use of performance-enhancing substances in British Racing will not be tolerated and that the sport has in place a robust and effective anti-doping and medication control programme,” BHA chief executive Paul Bittar said in a statement. Earlier, the BHA said the 15 horses Emirati al-Zarooni admitted doping have been banned from racing for six months.
Ozaki shoots less than age
Japan’s 66-year-old Masashi “Jumbo” Ozaki has shot a nine-under-par 62 to put another feather in his cap as he became the first to finish a round with strokes less than his age on the regular domestic tour. “Shooting my age is not something I try to do, although I want to be able to do something like shoot a 66,” Ozaki said after taking the first-round lead at 62 in the Tsuruya Open on Thursday in Kawanishi, Japan. “But if you can’t shoot 6-under or 7-under par when you play good golf, you don’t belong on the tour,” he told reporters, according to Kyodo News, completing the round with one eagle, nine birdies and two bogeys.
Pair arrested after prank
Two Australian Rules football players were arrested by armed police after a prank aimed at a teammate went awry. Josh Caddy and Billie Smedts, who play for Geelong, were reported to police after they were seen attempting to break into a house while wearing balaclavas. The pair had planned the break-in as a prank against fellow Geelong player Jackson Thurlow, but they were at the wrong address. Caddy and Smedts were found in their car soon after the report and were arrested by police with guns drawn. The Geelong Advertiser reported the players were cautioned by police and no further action will be taken. Caddy was quoted as saying, “me and Billie are both disappointed that we scared people in the community.”
Player dies after snake bite
A player who was bitten by a venomous king brown snake in Australia’s tropical north and proceeded to go for a 2km training run has died. Fairfax Newspapers reported yesterday that 26-year-old Karl Berry was cleaning up at Marrara Hockey Centre in Darwin on Tuesday when he picked up a snake, thinking it was a non-venomous python, and threw it into bushes. Berry was bitten on the hand, but did not realize the bite was poisonous and embarked on a run. He later collapsed and Craig Garraway, St John’s Ambulance operations manager, was quoted as saying Berry was conscious when paramedics arrived, but took up to 15 minutes to mention he had been bitten by a snake. He died on Wednesday.