Jockey Dettori banned for six months
PARIS (AFP) –
Legendary jockey Frankie Dettori was suspended from riding worldwide for six months by French racing’s governing body France Galop on Wednesday for failing a doping test.
The 41-year-old Italian-born England based rider – probably racing’s most high profile personality – tested positive for a non-performance enhancing banned substance at the September 16 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe trials at Longchamp.
The ban runs from December 19 to May 19, which crucially will allow Dettori to ride in the Epsom Derby on June 1, as France Galop took into account his having agreed not to ride at all once his medical certificate had been withdrawn by the Medical Commission on November 20.
“Because Frankie Dettori said that he would not ride anywhere in the world from November 20 that has been taken into account,” a France Galop spokesman told AFP.
“Thus the immediate ban is five months but it is six in counting the time since he voluntarily stepped down from riding on November 20.”
Dettori, though, must return to France and undergo more medical tests before he is cleared to ride again after what France Galop termed in their decision was a ‘serious infraction of the doping rules’.
“He must return to France and undergo biological tests on April 20. If they are clear then he is free to resume riding on May 19,” the spokesman said.
France Galop said that they had demanded that their fellow global racing authorities impose the ban as well.
Dettori’s lawyer Christopher Stewart-Moore, who represented the jockey at both the Medical Commission and then the disciplinary hearing in Paris on Tuesday, issued a statement to the Press Association that Dettori was contrite and felt he had let the sport down.
“France Galop have today announced their finding that Frankie Dettori has committed a breach of their rules relating to prohibited substances,” said Stewart-Moore.
“I have spoken to Frankie since the announcement was made and he has told me he fully accepts France Galop’s decision.
“He also accepts that he has let down the sport he loves and all those associated with it, as well as the wider public.
“But most of all, and this is his greatest regret, he has let down his wife and children.”
Although there has been much speculation as to the substance that he tested positive for it is unlikely, unless Dettori ever reveals it, it will ever be known as France Galop’s policy is never to divulge such details.