Trainer Gerard Butler has received a five-year ban from the BHA disciplinary panel following a guilty plea for all seven charges relating to the use of the prohibited substance stanozonol on horses in his care.
Butler has attended a disciplinary panel hearing in London last month after admitting some of his horses had been treated with the joint treatment Sungate, which contained an anabolic steroid, under the advice of his vet.
He later admitted administering, to four horses, a substance called Rexogin, using a method only allowed to be carried out by qualified vets, which contains the anabolic steroid stanozolol and is designed for use in humans.
At last month's hearing Butler revealed that he had purchased the stanozolol online from the UK Steroids Pharmacy, and did not in fact purchase Sungate but a preparation called Rexogin which contained stanozolol at a concentration 10 times that of Sungate.
He admitted buying five boxes of the drug, each containing 10 vials, and kept the purchase secret.
At the same hearing in question, Butler also confirmed that he injected the fetlock and knee joints of the affected horses on two occasions in December and January, taking no veterinary advice beforehand.
Following the announcement of the five year ban today, the BHA disciplinary panel issued a statement saying: “In the panel's view, Butler's actions in giving Rexogin were an appalling failure to act in the best interests of the horses in his care.
“The panel concluded that Butler's behaviour in administering the injections was consistent with the underhand and covert manner in which he purchased the drug.
“Butler's evidence revealed an appalling dereliction of his duty as a licensed trainer.”
Speaking to the Racing Post after today's panel decision, Gerard Butler was clearly upset by the ban saying “I would like to spend the day composing myself and considering a response. I plan to issue a statement tomorrow afternoon.”
Butler's ban begins tomorrow and he will be suspended until December 4, 2018 inclusive. He has a period of 48 hours to arrange the relocation of his horses.