Butler Faces Charges for Steroid Use

The British trainer has been formerly charged with seven breaches of racing rules.

British trainer Gerard Butler has been charged with administering anabolic steroids to nine of his racehorses.

The British Horseracing Authority summoned Butler, who is based in Newmarket, to attend a disciplinary hearing that will consider seven breaches of racing rules. He has been charged with acting in a manner prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct, and/or good reputation of horse racing by administering the steroid, according to the BHA.

Butler admitted in April to giving Sungate, which is legal in Great Britain but contains the banned steroid stanozolol, to several horses after being given assurances from a veterinary practice. The trainer had said he didn't think the medication was a problem because he consulted with his veterinarians and recorded the injections, given for injured joints, in his medical records that had been reviewed by the BHA.

"It did not cross my mind that there could be any problem with this medication," Butler told the British newspaper The Independent in April. "And, judging from the fact that the BHA said nothing about it when they saw my medical book, it does not seem to have crossed their minds, either."

The date of the hearing hasn't been set.

The BHA is investigating whether other trainers have been using Sungate, which is used to treat joint problems, on veterinary advice. Butler had said vets told him the medication was widely used and may have been given to as many as 100 horses stabled at Newmarket.

It is the second doping scandal to hit British racing in recent months. Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni was banned for eight years in April for administering steroids to 15 horses.