By: Marcus Hersh
Salem bin Ghadayer, one of the leading trainers in the United Arab Emirates this season, has been suspended for one year by the Emirates Racing Authority for a positive drug test.
High On Life, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai, finished first in race 5 on Jan. 25 at Jebel Ali Racecourse, and post-race testing revealed the presence of the prohibited drug ketamine and two of its metabolites, norketamine and dehydronorketamine. Ketamine is a synthetically compounded drug with analgesic and anesthetic affects. High On Life was disqualified from all purse earnings in the race by ERA stewards.
Bin Ghadayer, 40, had his first starters on the UAE Thoroughbred and Arabian circuit during the 2014-15 season following time as a rider and trainer of endurance horses. He had a runner in the 2015 World Cup, Long River, and after winning a total of eight races during his first two UAE seasons, he won 10 during the 2016-17 season and was in the midst of a breakout campaign this winter. At the time of his suspension, bin Ghadayer had 26 wins, sixth-best during the current UAE season, and purse earnings of $5.6 million, fifth-best on the circuit.