Reaction to Dettori ban positive
Racing:Trainer Luca Cumani hopes fellow Italian Frankie Dettori can put his six-month suspension behind him as soon as possible for the good of racing.
The three-times British champion jockey, 41, tested positive for what is believed to be cocaine following a routine examination at Longchamp on September 16th. Dettori’s suspension, from French racing authority France Galop, runs from November 20th to May 19th and is likely to be reciprocated by racing jurisdictions worldwide, including by the British Horseracing Authority.
Cumani gave Dettori his first job in British racing as an apprentice in 1985 before he went on to become the Newmarket trainer’s stable jockey. They enjoyed great success together before Dettori moved on to become retained jockey to Sheikh Mohammed’s operation Godolphin.
Cumani admitted: “I’m sad that this has happened and hope it doesn’t happen again. He is the best jockey that has been around for quite a while and a great ambassador for the sport. He has done a world of good to the sport and let’s hope he can put this behind him quickly and go back to where he was.”
The Professional Jockeys Association intend to look at the mental well-being of their members and give riders any support they might require. Paul Struthers, PJA chief executive, said: “As in any walk of life jockeys will make mistakes.
“Frankie Dettori has made such a mistake and accepted the consequences of it, and if he needs any support the PJA and Injured Jockeys Fund between them can provide that. Jockeys in Britain are subjected to regular testing and, from 2,607 in-competition urine tests and 3,697 breath tests since 2005, there is no evidence to suggest that there is a fundamental drug problem with jockeys.
“Of urine tests 0.3% were positive for drugs and 0.2% of both urine and breath tests were positive for alcohol. The wider issue of jockeys’ mental well-being is something the PJA cares passionately about.
“As well as all the normal pressures that other sportsmen and women have to contend with, unlike many other sports jockeys have the added pressures of massively reduced calorific intake and are constantly at very real risk of serious injury.
“The PJA has been in dialogue about this with the Injured Jockeys Fund, the British Horseracing Authority and Betfair, who have sponsored the PJA’s medical adviser for the last four years and will do again next year as well as sponsoring the physio and fitness wing at IJF’s Oaksey House in Lambourn.
“As a result, we will be meeting early next year to discuss the issue of jockeys’ mental well-being with a view to doing more to raise awareness of the issues and the support that is available.”