British trainer Gerard Butler withdraws appeal against ban

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British thoroughbred trainer Gerard Butler has withdrawn his appeal against the five-year ban imposed by racing authorities around his use of an anabolic steroid.

The British Horseracing Authority’s press office tweeted the news on Friday, saying it had been advised of the decision by Butler’s solicitor.

Butler’s appeal was originally lodged on December 11, following the ban imposed by the authority’s disciplinary tribunal on December 4.

Butler had admitted all seven charges against him relating to the finding of stanozolol in samples taken from nine horses in his care or control.

In four cases the substance was later identified as Rexogin, which was injected by Butler himself.

In the five other cases the horses were identified as having been treated with Sungate on veterinary advice. Both products contain stanozolol, listed as a prohibited substance.

The tribunal, in imposing the ban, noted that Butler had administered Rexogin by injection into joints using a method restricted by law to qualified veterinary surgeons.

The tribunal also pointed to the fact that Butler took no veterinary advice before carrying out these procedures, did not have the horses properly assessed prior to their treatment, made no recording in his medication records of having injected the horses, and that he subsequently allowed the horses to be treated by veterinary surgeons without informing them of the prior administrations.

It said it was not appropriate for a trainer to say he was able to undertake an invasive veterinary procedure on the basis that he had seen veterinary surgeons performing the procedure.

He created unnecessary risks for the horses in obtaining the drug from an unlicensed source and his behaviour in administering the injections was consistent with the underhand and covert manner in which he purchased the drug, the panel found.

The tribunal noted that it was only when questioned at the hearing that Butler revealed for the first time that he had purchased the stanozolol online from the UK Steroids Pharmacy.

Rexogin contained stanozolol at a concentration that was ten times that of Sungate.

“In the panel’s view, Butler’s actions in giving Rexogin were an appalling failure to act in the best interests of the horses in his care.”

Horsetalk.co.nz

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