July 25, 2014
Queen Elizabeth: Doping scandal?
One of the biggest sports scandals in recent years was the so-called Steroids Era in Major League Baseball. The period was rife with drug cheats. The most shameful of all being those perceived as potential “baseball royalty” — Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and, more recently, Alex Rodriguez, who was actually held up as baseball’s golden boy as the others fell from their pedestals. This week, however, America’s pastime has been one-upped. Over in England, actual royalty was caught up in a doping scandal.
Queen Elizabeth II’s champion horse Estimate tested positive for morphine after its runner-up finish at the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. Morphine is allowed during training but not on race days. The queen’s 5-year-old mare won the 2013 Gold Cup.
In trying to save face, pro athletes often try the “tainted supplement” excuse. Surely Buckingham Palace has a better response …
“Initial indications are that the positive test resulted from the consumption of a contaminated feed product,” John Warren, the queen’s Bloodstock and Racing adviser, said in a statement.
… or not.
Five horses in the race tested positive for morphine, and Estimate trainer Michael Stoute is heading up an investigation into rogue poppy seeds that might have gotten into the feed.
In ancient times, monarchs were said to have a “food taster,” who sampled the product to make sure it hadn’t been poisoned. Which begs the question: Who’s going to act as the feed taster for the royal horse?