• Horse racing

Butler hearing scheduled for November

ESPN staff
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Gerard Butler faces seven charges brought by the British Horseracing Authority © PA Photos
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The British Horseracing Authority has announced trainer Gerard Butler will face a disciplinary hearing over his use of the drug Sungate on November 18-20.

Butler faces seven charges brought by the BHA over the use of the joint treatment, which contains a prohibited anabolic steroid, on nine horses in his care.

Inspectors visited his Newmarket stables in February, where nine horses tested positive for banned steroid stanozol. Butler has also been charged with injecting the horses himself despite not being a qualified or registered veterinary surgeon and failing to keep a record of treatments.

Butler maintained vets assured him the substance did not breach BHA rules, but could face a lengthy ban if found guilty; Rule (C)55 - 'positive test of sample taken at training premises' - can mean a disqualification from racing for up to 10 years.

After a separate inquiry in April, former Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni, also based at Newmarket, was given an eight-year ban after 11 horses in his care tested positive for anabolic steroids.

Following Al Zarooni's suspension, Butler was reported in the Independent suggesting more than 100 horses in Newmarket had been treated with Sungate.

While Sungate is legal to use in Britain when imported under licence, the steroid stanozol is banned in racing.

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