LONDON (Reuters) - Simon Crisford has resigned as racing manager of the Godolphin stable and will take a new role as Sheikh Mohammed’s global racing advisor, he was quoted as saying on Monday.
The 51-year-old’s departure comes after a report published this month that was critical of Godolphin and other parts of Sheikh Mohammed’s equine operations.
Godolphin’s former trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni was banned for eight years by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) after being found guilty of administering anabolic steroids at his stables in Newmarket last year.
The report, written by former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens, cleared Sheikh Mohammed of any wrongdoing and concluded that al-Zarooni had acted alone in the doping scandal that engulfed the stable.
However, the affair caused serious embarrassment to the Dubai ruler, who is Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and the UK’s leading racehorse owner.
The report also criticised “management failings, insufficient oversight and complacency”.
Crisford, one of the most widely respected figures in British racing, told the Racing Post on Monday: ”Having dealt with the events of last year and seen the Lord Stevens inquiry through to its conclusion, I thought that this was a good moment to bring my time at Godolphin to a close.
“I had felt for a while that I would like a fresh challenge. I think the time is right for a new start for the stable and for me,” he added on www.racingpost.com.
“Sheikh Mohammed has asked me to take on a new role as his global racing adviser. I am delighted to have accepted that position and I am very much looking forward to what will be an exciting new chapter for me.”
Crisford has been Godolphin’s manager since the stable was created over 20 years ago.
Godolphin have won over 200 Group One races in different countries since Sheikh Mohammed established training operations in Dubai and England in 1992.
Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Greg Stutchbury