Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Gerard Butler banned for 'appalling' failings

Gerard Butler has been banned for five years

Gerard Butler's response to the news he has been disqualified from racing for five years is expected to be revealed today.

The Newmarket trainer attended a disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority last month, and they have announced Butler admitted to all seven charges against him relating to samples of an anabolic steroid found in horses in his care.

The BHA accused Butler (47) of an "appalling" dereliction of his duties and nine of his horses produced positive samples, five cases of which were identified as the joint treatment Sungate, which contains the banned anabolic steroid stanozolol.

However, considered even more serious was Butler's admission of administering another substance, Rexogin, to four horses himself.

Rexogin is designed for use in humans, often for bodybuilding, and contains 10 times as much stanozolol as Sungate.

Adam Brickell, director of integrity, legal and risk for the BHA, said: "BHA's position, which was upheld by the disciplinary panel, was that the most serious charges related to Gerard Butler's gross failure to look after the best interests of four horses in his care, which amounted to conduct that was seriously prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and good reputation of the sport.

"The gravity of the breaches of the rules of racing escalated when, in the course of cross-examination during the disciplinary panel hearing, Gerard Butler finally provided evidence as to where he had purchased the drug in question from, and admitted that the product he had administered himself to four horses was not the equine veterinary product Sungate, but instead an unlicensed stanozolol-based product called Rexogin, manufactured for use in humans.

"Furthermore the panel accepted that Butler had administered this product by intra-articular injection using a method restricted by law to qualified veterinary surgeons.

"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

"The panel summarised that the actions of Butler represented 'an appalling breach of his duty to look after the interests of the horses in his care and amounted to conduct that was seriously prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and good reputation of horseracing in Great Britain'."

Butler also admitted to failing to keep a record of treatments. He will be suspended until December 4, 2018.

He has 48 hours to arrange the relocation of his horses.

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