herald

Saturday 19 October 2019

Testing times for Dettori

Jockey Frankie Dettori. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
Jockey Frankie Dettori. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.

REPORTS emerged last night that jockey Frankie Dettori is to face a further lengthy ban for drug use as France Galop and Dettori await the 'B' sample of a second reportedly positive test given by the Italian jockey.

Dettori had tested positive for cocaine last September and was given a six-month ban which was due to be up last weekend, and the most famous face in the sport was to have a full book of rides at Leicester on Monday evening.

The British Horse Racing Authority refused to grant Dettori a licence to ride on Monday as it awaited the results of three tests given by the 42-year-old and now he looks set to face another meeting with authorities in France which will more than likely be followed by a hearing in Paris which will determine the length of a second ban.

It had been widely predicted that Dettori could team up with Aidan O'Brien at Epsom next weekend for a lucrative spare ride in the Epsom Derby and some even suggested that he may have been employed by Ballydoyle at the Curragh's Guineas meeting this weekend.

Dettori's solicitor Christopher Stewart-Moore said yesterday evening: "We are in correspondence with France Galop about this and it is a private matter."

The BHA added: "It remains the situation that the BHA is awaiting either clearance from France regarding Frankie Dettori or an understanding of the reason why France Galop does not consider him fit to ride.

"At present France Galop is exercising its right not to disclose this information."

Speaking in a highly publicised interview last week, Dettori said: "I'm very ashamed and embarrassed and paid a very big price for it. I spent six months not doing the thing that I love, racing."

Dettori's 20-year association with the powerful Sheikh Mohammed and his Godolphin operation came to an abrupt end at the end of last season, leading the jockey to suggest: "Things were going bad, I was depressed and I guess a moment of weakness and I fell for it and I've only got myself to blame."

In that same interview he said that he had been drug tested "15 times" in the last two months and compared himself to shamed cyclist Lance Armstrong in the manner that he was being tested.

"I feel like Lance Armstrong – they come and knock on my door any time of the day."

Bookmakers Paddy Power have offered a price of 6/4 that Dettori goes into rehabilitation clinic The Priory in the next few months and 25/1 that he does not ride under British or Irish rules in the next five years.

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