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Champion jockey Oisin Murphy is BANNED for a positive cocaine test

Champion jockey Oisin Murphy is BANNED for a positive cocaine test – but only faces three months out, half of Frankie Dettori’s ban in 2012

  • French racing authorities banned Irish jockey Oisin Murphy for three months 
  • The 25-year-old tested positive for cocaine in a urine sample he provided
  • Murphy has protested his innocence following the test given back in July
  • The champion jockey’s A sample showed up positive for a metabolite of cocaine  

Champion jockey Oisin Murphy has been banned for three months by French racing authorities after testing positive for a metabolite of cocaine.

The 25-year-old rider, who has also protested his innocence will be banned from December 11 to March 11. 

Murphy gave a urine test when having three rides at Chantilly on July 19.

He was told his A sample had tested positive to a metabolite of cocaine on August 19 by France Galop. The jockey underwent private testing of his hair samples which he said had proved negative. 

Commenting on the decision, Murphy said: ‘I would like to thank France Galop and the panel of Commissioners for a fair hearing and for accepting the evidence I presented that I had not taken cocaine. 

‘This evidence included my hair sample results – the results of which I am making public today – and an expert witness statement from an eminent toxicology and anti-doping expert.

‘Whilst I am obviously disappointed that I will still have to serve a three-month suspension, I am pleased the Commissioners accepted the evidence presented and am hugely relieved to have been cleared of taking cocaine.

‘I respect the rules of France Galop, respect their decision and will not be appealing. Despite my relief, I regretfully put myself in a situation whereby cocaine has been able to filter into my system through environmental contamination and must live with the consequences. As a professional sportsman I cannot put myself in a similar situation again.

‘Even though I have been exonerated from taking cocaine, I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to Sheikh Fahad al Thani, David Redvers and Andrew Balding and thank them for their support.

‘I also want to thank my legal team, particularly Florence Gaudilliere, who represented me in France but also Rory Mac Neice, the Professional Jockeys Association, Johnno Spence and others who have advised and supported me throughout.’

‘Finally, I would also like to apologise to the whole Qatar Racing team, to the owners and trainers I ride for, my supporters, my weighing room colleagues and to my commercial partners as well as Racing to School.’

‘The next three months will give me much time to reflect on my actions but I will learn from this experience and come back better and even more determined than before.’

Andrew Balding commented: ‘Oisin Murphy arrived at Kingsclere in 2012 and is very much part of the Park House family. I have been very proud to watch him thrive in the saddle but also as an ambassador for the sport. Oisin is a kind, trustworthy and dedicated part of the team. I never doubted he was innocent but I know this will really hurt him and I will make sure we do everything to help him return as a stronger and better person.’