ERA Media Release – Mr Abdelaziz Daoud
The ERA Stewards opened an inquiry on Thursday 8th June 2023, into the notification by the Dubai Equine Forensic Unit (EFU) regarding the presence of Butorphanol being detected in a post-race urine sample taken from SATTAM AL WATHBA (AE), after it raced in Race 1 “Al Basrah – Maiden” over 2000 metres at Al Ain Racecourse on Friday 31st March 2023. Evidence was taken from Mr. Abdelaziz Daoud (Trainer of SATTAM AL WATHBA (AE)), Dr. Kieran Finn (ERA Regulatory Veterinarian) and Dr. Michael Subhahar (Chief Analyst – Dubai Equine Forensic Unit). The following matters were established during the inquiry; 1. On Tuesday 11th April 2023, ERA Stewards were advised of the irregularity to Butorphanol in respect to the post-race urine taken from SATTAM AL WATHBA (AE) at Al Ain Racecourse on Friday 31st March 2023. 2. On Wednesday 12th April 2023, the ERA Stewards informed Mr. A Daoud of the irregularity via a stable visit at registered training location, Al Nakheel Stable, in Abu Dhabi. Mr. A Daoud was unable to explain the presence of Butorphanol in the sample taken from SATTAM AL WATHBA (AE). Additionally, the Stewards found no evidence of any products that would lead to such discoveries. 3. On Wednesday 12th April March 2023, Mr. A Daoud 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). 4. On Sunday 30th April 2023, the ERA Stewards received confirmation from the Hong Kong Laboratory that the presence of Butorphanol was detected in the reserve urine sample of SATTAM AL WATHBA (AE). 5. Mr. A Daoud was unable to explain the reason for the presence of Butorphanol detected, with no record of any treatment to SATTAM AL WATHBA (AE). 6. Dr. K Finn advised that, Butorphanol, a narcotic analgesic, is frequently employed in horses alongside a sedative. It is utilized for pain management, particularly in cases of intestinal problems or post-foaling. The medication is administered through intravenous injection and exhibits potent pain-relieving properties, taking effect within 15 minutes of administration. It is important to note that high doses can result in incoordination (ataxia) and adversely affect the horse's performance. To avoid an inadvertent positive sample, the ERA suggest a four (4) clear day withholding period for the use of Butorphanol. Trainer Mr. A Daoud pleaded guilty to a charge under the provisions of ERA Rule 95AAA 2, in that he presented and raced SATTAM AL WATHBA (AE) to race in Race 1 “Al Basrah – Maiden” over 2000 metres at Al Ain Racecourse on Friday 31st March 2023, which was subsequently found, upon analysis of a post-race urine sample, to have had Butorphanol administered to it, a prohibited substance under the ERA Rules of Racing. In determining an appropriate penalty, the Stewards considered a number of factors including: • The circumstances of the offence; • The seriousness of the offence, involving the presentation of a prohibited substance in a race day sample; • General and specific deterrence; • The integrity and image of racing in the UAE; • Previous penalties imposed for offences under ERA Rule 95AAA 2; • Mr. A Daoud’s guilty plea and blemish free record in relation to the prohibited substance rules. Taking into account these circumstances, Mr. A Daoud was issued a fine of AED 40,000. Pursuant to ERA 86(ii), SATTAM AL WATHBA (AE) was disqualified from 12th place from Race 1 “Al Basrah – Maiden” over 2000 metres at Al Ain Racecourse on Friday 31st March 2023, and the placings adjusted accordingly. Mr. A Daoud was advised of his rights of appeal. Relevant Rules: ERA 86(ii) – Where any declared runner has been the subject of an examination under the Rules 8(vi) and or (vii) and has been found to have received a Prohibited Substances, the Horse shall be disqualified from the Race and from other Races as the ERA determines. ERA Rule 95AAA 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 the 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. Rashid Alblooshi, and Mr. Manav Vaya.