Trainer Gerard Butler under investigation by British Horseracing Authority for using banned steroids in nine of his horses.  

The British Horseracing Authority has confirmed a second Newmarket trainer is under investigation for injecting his horses with steroids.

Less than a week after Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni was banned for eight years for doping, Gerard Butler admitted to the Independent newspaper that he, too, had used anabolic steroids.

Nine of Butler’s horses tested positive at his Egerton House Stables in Newmarket for a substance called Sungate, which can be used to treat injured joints.

Although Sungate contains an anabolic steroid, it is licensed in the EU and can be legally imported into the UK and prescribed by a British vet.

However, under the rules of British horseracing, steroids cannot be used for racehorses in training or competition, and the BHA will be alarmed by Butler’s claims that large numbers of horses in Newmarket have also been treated with Sungate.

A BHA statement said: “The investigation has established that the source of the positive samples was a veterinary product, licensed in the EU and legally imported for use by a veterinary practice, the initial administration of which was recommended by a vet.

“This investigation remains ongoing and a number of other parties have been and will be interviewed, including representatives of the veterinary practice in question.

“One of the objectives of this investigation is to clarify the extent to which this product has been distributed and administered to horses in training.”

The new revelations come as drug testing of the 150 remaining horses at Al Zarooni’s Moulton Paddocks stable in Newmarket begins.

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