The BHA’s formal statement yesterday on the 8 year ban given to Mahmood Al Zarooni was sadly lacking in a robust defence of UK racing in general. We should not simply assume that the public will take it for granted that quick and decisive action here means full confidence in the sport’s integrity. That needs driven home in plain language.
Yes we have a ‘rogue trader’ in MAZ, but it’s not as though it was 11 horses from different yards.
In rushing to Hang em High and display a sense of purpose, we should not neglect responsibility for the sport’s importance and image.
When the public see DOPING headlines, steroids will be out of sight of their minds’ eye. What they will see is fizzing syringes full of equine rocket fuel or a concoction that puts a horse to sleep.
The most junior of PR execs would have advised the BHA to ensure the big picture is driven home forcefully. That picture shows UK racing to be, in general, the cleanest in the world. The BHA, the media, and all of us owe the sport more than it’s getting in this case.