As the fallout continues following positive drug tests 

As the fallout continues following positive drug tests returned by Godolphin-trained horses in England, embattled trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni would have escaped penalty under Australian racing rules where out-of-competition steroid use is permitted.

Racing Victoria vet Brian Stewart confirmed on Tuesday that the two anabolic steroids - Ethylestrenol and Stanozolol - found in 11 Al Zarooni-trained horses at Newmarket were legal to use in Australia as long as the substance was not present on race day.

Stewart said that Australian authorities had a different view to anabolic steroids than the zero tolerance approach taken in the UK and he believed there were definite therapeutic benefits of such drugs.

"Australia has a different policy when it comes to anabolics, we have well-established guidelines for the use of such drugs in training and spelling and these are controlled strictly by detection periods,'' he said. ''Any horse that has been treated with anabolic steroids must be free of them by race day, generally there is a one- to three-month clearance time.''

Stewart said the lengthy clearance time meant that it was highly unlikely that horses would be presented to race with steroids present in their body unless in the case of accident, oversight or poor training practices.

Random testing of 45 Godolphin-trained horses on April 9 conducted by the British Horseracing Authority returned 11 positives. Al Zarooni trained all the horses that tested positive, including leading 1000 Guineas aspirant Certify, who has now been excluded from the race.

Al Zarooni admitted that he had made a "catastrophic error" in administering the banned substances, but explained that he was not aware that the steroids were banned under BHA rules for horses that were in training but not racing; the fallout and subsequent BHA investigation could cost Al Zarooni his training licence and his position with Godolphin, with racing manager Simon Crisford labelling the scandal as "a dark day for Godolphin" that had left owner Sheikh Mohammed "absolutely appalled".