Six month ban for Dettori

Wed 5th Dec 2012, 12:30
Frankie Dettori
Frankie Dettori
(Healy Racing Photos)
Frankie Dettori has been banned from riding for six months after testing positive for a prohibited substance, his legal representative Christopher Stewart-Moore said today.

The three-times British champion jockey, 41, tested positive for a substance widely reported to have been cocaine following a routine test at Longchamp on September 16.

Dettori's suspension runs from November 20 to May 19 and is expected to be reciprocated by racing jurisdictions worldwide, including by the British Horseracing Authority.

Stewart-Moore said in a statement released to Press Association that Dettori "fully accepts" France Galop's decision to ban him for six months.

"France Galop have today announced their finding 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."

Christopher Stewart-Moore said that his client had received "a sympathetic hearing".

"He is enormously grateful for the opportunities that he has been given by owners and trainers over the years, and for the support of his many fans," he continued.

"Racing has been good to Frankie and he knows that his privileged position brings with it responsibility.

"For this reason he is determined to rebuild his reputation when he returns to the saddle.

"Frankie could make excuses. He has, after all, regularly been tested for prohibited substances throughout his career.

"He is clear, however, that the responsibility for his current situation lies squarely with him.

"From the start of France Galop's inquiry he has acknowledged to them he has made a mistake and that the fault was his.

"Finally, he has asked me to thank everyone for the many messages of support he and his family have received."

With the BHA set to reciprocate France Galop's suspension, the challenge Dettori had hoped to make towards the 2013 jockeys' championship title is now in tatters.

The Italian, who will be 42 on December 15, had four rides at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe trials meeting on September 16, at which the positive sample was returned.

The case was then put before the medical commission of France Galop in Paris on November 20.

It was announced a day later that he was temporarily suspended from competing in France on medical grounds and his hearing concluded at France Galop's headquarters in Paris on Tuesday.

Dettori made the headlines recently when his 18-year association with powerful owners Godolphin came to an end, with the rider announcing that he now planned to operate as a freelance.

He partnered nine English Classic winners in the royal blue silks, including their first in 1994 Oaks victor Balanchine, and a total of 110 Group or Grade One winners for the owner.

A host of Dettori's big-race winners have been trained by Godolphin handler Saeed bin Suroor, including four of those that formed the rider's 'Magnificent Seven' at Ascot on September 28, 1996.

Dettori is not the first to fall foul of the French authorities, with Kieren Fallon banned six months by France Galop in 2006 after returning a positive test for a metabolite of a banned substance.

France Galop then suspended him a further 18 months after a second positive test in August 2007.

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