Following testing of all Godolphin horses in training in Newmarket, Sheikh Mohammed has taken the next step towards restoring public confidence in his racing empire by drawing up draft legislation to outlaw the use of anabolic steroids in the UAE. The decree renders the “import, sale, purchase and use of anabolic steroids in all horse-related sports in the UAE a criminal offence”.

Since April 9, a total of 22 Godolphin horses have tested positive for anabolic steroids in training, including unbeaten Group 1 winner Certify and last year’s St Leger winner Encke. The horses’ trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni has been banned from racing for eight years but has lodged an appeal as to the severity of his sentence. Long-serving Godolphin trainer Saeed Bin Suroor has taken over the running of Al Zarooni’s former stable, Moulton Paddocks.

In a statement published via Godolphin’s website, Sheikh Mohammed, the Ruler and Prime Minister of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE, said: “I have always believed in the integrity of horse racing and all other horse sports. I have, in light of the unfortunate recent event, directed that a decree be issued making, with immediate effect, the import, sale, purchase or use of anabolic steroids in horse sports a criminal offence under the UAE penal laws.

“Regrettably, one of my stables in Europe has recently fallen below the standards that I expect and will tolerate. As soon as the internal investigations are complete and the requisite pre-emptory rules are put in place, Godolphin will go from strength to strength and lead, once again, adherence to the highest standards in that gracious sport.”