ERA Media Release - Mr Khalifa Al Mazrouei

The ERA Stewards opened an inquiry on Sunday 17th November, 2019 into the notification by the Dubai Equine Forensic Unit that the prohibited substances Phenylbutazone and Oxyphenylbutazone had been detected in the pre-trial blood sample taken from ALABER (AE), before it trialed in Trial 4 over 1000 metres at Meydan Racecourse on Wednesday 30th October 2019.

Evidence was taken from Mr. Khalifa Al Mazrouei (Trainer), Mr. Magahou Al Rasbi (Assistant Trainer), Dr. David Craig (ERA Veterinarian) and Dr. Michael Subhahar (Chief Analyst – Dubai Equine Forensic Unit). The following matters were established during the inquiry;
1. On Wednesday 30th October 2019, ALABER (AE) was randomly selected to provide a pre-trial blood sample. ALABER (AE) successfully trialed and was passed to race in accordance with ERA Rule 21F(i).
2. On Thursday 7th November 2019, the ERA Stewards were advised of the irregularity to Phenylbutazone and Oxyphenylbutazone in respect to the pre-trial blood sample taken from ALABER (AE). Acting on this report and after initially informing Mr. K Al Mazrouei of the irregularity, the Stewards ordered the withdrawal of ALABER (AE) from Race 1 “Al Khaleej Al Arabi UAE Bred Maiden” at Abu Dhabi on Friday 8th November 2019.
3. On Friday 8th November 2019, at Abu Dhabi Racecourse, Mr. K Al Mazrouei was official notified of the irregularity in the sample taken from ALABER (AE), at which time the stable produced its Medication Log Book in respect to ALABER (AE). ALABER (AE) had received Dexamethasone on the 23rd October 2019, however there was no evidence of Phenylbutazone being given. At this stage Mr. K Al Mazrouei could offer no explanation for Phenylbutazone and Oxyphenylbutazone being found in the sample.
4. On Friday 8th November 2019, Mr. K Al Mazrouei advised that he wished to exercise his right to have the reserve portion of the sample analysed by another accredited racing laboratory in accordance with ERA Rule 95D(ii).
5. On Sunday 10th November 2019, Mr. K Al Mazrouei advised the ERA that his Assistant Trainer Mr. M Al Rasbi had given ALABER (AE) Phenylbutazone on 25th October 2019. Further he advised that he wished to withdraw his request to have the reserve portion of the sample analysed, as it was now evident why Phenylbutazone and Oxyphenylbutazone was present in the sample.
6. Mr. M Al Rasbi confirmed that he administered Phenylbutazone to ALABER (AE) on the 25th October 2019 after seeking advice from a veterinarian. He further added that he did not realize that horses had to be presented to trial drug-free and was allowing adequate time for ALABER (AE) to be clear of prohibited substances for his scheduled race at Abu Dhabi on Friday 8th November 2019.
7. Evidence was tendered that Phenylbutazone is a widely used non-steroidal treatment for horse with minor pain. It is a commonly used substance in racehorses during training.

Trainer Mr. K Al Mazrouei pled guilty to a charge under the provisions of ERA Rule 95AAA 2, in that he presented ALABER (AE) at Meydan Racecourse on Wednesday 30th October 2019, when the pre-trial blood sample taken from that colt, upon analysis, was found to have had administered to it Phenylbutazone, a prohibited substance under the ERA Rules

In determining the appropriate penalty in this case, the Stewards considered a number of factors including:
• The circumstances of the offence;
• Nature of the substances;
• General and specific deterrence;
• The integrity and image of racing in the UAE;
• Mr. K Al Mazrouei’s forthright evidence and co-operation throughout the inquiry;
• Mr. K Al Mazrouei’s guilty plea and record in relation to the prohibited substance rules (see below).

Mr. K Al Mazrouei was fined the sum of AED 25,000.

Further Mr. K Al Mazrouei pled guilty to a charge under the provisions of ERA Rule 31B(iv), in that he failed to maintain the Medication Log Book for ALABER (AE). Mr. K Al Mazrouei was fined the sum of AED 2,000.

Assistant Trainer Mr. M Al Rasbi pled guilty to a charge under the provisions of ERA Rule 95AAA 1(b), in that he administered Phenylbutazone to ALABER (AE) prior to Trial 4 at Meydan Racecourse on Wednesday 30th October 2019, when the pre-trial blood sample taken from ALABER (AE) detected the prohibited substances Phenylbutazone and Oxyphenylbutazone.

In determining the appropriate penalty in this case, the Stewards considered a number of factors including:
• The circumstances of the offence;
• The seriousness of the offence, involving the administration of Phenylebutazone prior to a trial;
• General and specific deterrence;
• The integrity and image of racing in the UAE;
• Mr. M Al Rasbi’s guilty plea and good record in relation to the prohibited substance rules.

Mr. M Al Rasbi was disqualified for a period of two (2) months, commencing immediately and expiring midnight Friday 17th January 2020.

Subsequently ALABER (AE) was considered to have failed his Trial at Meydan Racecourse on the 30th October 2019, and was accordingly withdrawn from Race 1 “Al Khaleej Al Arabi UAE Bred Maiden” at Abu Dhabi on Friday 8th November 2019, due to not being qualified for the race. ALABER (AE) has since trialed successfully at Meydan Racecourse on Wednesday 13th November 2019.

Mr. K Al Mazrouei’s record in relation to prohibited substances:
• No prior breaches.

Mr. M Al Rasbi’s record in relation to prohibited substances:
• No prior breaches.

Relevant Rules:
ERA 31B(iv) – Trainers who fail to maintain medical records or cannot produce the aforementioned records are guilty of an Offence.

ERA 21F – No unraced Horse shall be permitted to race at a meeting in the UAE unless:
(i) It has competed in an Official Trial in a manner satisfactory to the Stewards, or
(ii) The Stewards for good cause in their absolute discretion permit the Horse to race.

ERA 86(ii) – Where any declared runner has been the subject of an examination under Rules 8(vi) and or (vii) and has been found to have received any Prohibited Substance, the Horse shall be disqualified from that Race and from other Races as the ERA determines.

ERA Rule 95 AAA 1. – Any Person shall be liable to Penalty if:
(b) They administer or cause to be administered any Prohibited Substance which is detected in any Sample taken pursuant to Rule 8(vii) from any Horse prior to or following any Race, or Test.

ERA Rule 95 AAA 2. – Any Trainer or other Person in charge of a Horse, which is presented to Race or perform a Test, or has Raced or performed a Test which is found (upon analysis) to have had administered to it a Prohibited Substance, shall be liable to a Penalty.

ERA Rules 95D(ii) – Upon the detection by an Accredited Racing Laboratory of a Prohibited Substance in a Sample from a Horse, such laboratory shall notify its finding to the Stewards, who shall then notify the Trainer of the Horse of such finding and give him the option to have the reserve portion of the Sample Tested at another ERA-approved Accredited Racing Laboratory. The Trainer will have 3 days to notify the Stewards of such requirement. A refusal by the Trainer to Test the reserve portion of the Sample shall not prevent the Stewards from having the reserve portion of the Sample Tested.

Stewards Panel:
• Mr. Sam Shinsky (Chairman), Mr. Taylor Wilson and Mr. John Zucal.