Dettori decides not to ride anywhere
RACING: Frankie Dettori, who tested positive for a banned substance after riding at Longchamp on September 16th, will face a full inquiry into the case within the next two weeks after the medical committee of France Galop, French racing’s ruling body, decided to forward its findings on the case to France Galop’s stewards for consideration.
A brief statement from the authority yesterday said that following a hearing the previous day “and after having duly notified the jockey Lanfranco Dettori of its decision, the medical committee has temporarily suspended the said jockey from riding in races in France, based on medical grounds.
“According to article 143 of the rules of racing, the medical committee’s report has been passed on to the France Galop stewards.
The stewards will be studying the file within the next fortnight before deciding what action will be taken in accordance with the rules of racing.”
The British Horseracing Authority said yesterday that since Dettori has been suspended on medical grounds, he would need to get clearance from its doctor to ride in Britain.
However, Christopher Stewart-Moore, Dettori’s solicitor, confirmed later that the jockey will not ride in public before the full disciplinary hearing.
“Following today’s announcement by France Galop setting out the conclusions of their medical committee, Frankie Dettori would like to say that he accepts their conclusions without reservation,” Stewart-Moore said in a statement.
“He is grateful to the medical committee for their time and in particular for listening to his explanation of his position.
“As to the suspension of his licence in France, this is something which he fully anticipated and has not in any event ridden since 6 November when he honoured a pre-existing commitment to ride in the Melbourne Cup.
“He can now confirm that until the matter is resolved by the stewards of France Galop at a hearing within the next fortnight, he will not be riding again anywhere.
“Once the stewards of France Galop make their decision he will make a full statement but is unable to do so until such time as that final decision is announced.”
On grounds of medical confidentiality, France Galop has so far refused to confirm the substance for which Dettori has tested positive, and its extensive list of prohibited drugs includes a number of cold remedies as well as both recreational and potentially performance-enhancing drugs.
If Dettori’s positive test is considered to be a serious breach of France’s rules of racing, he could be banned from riding for several months, with serious consequences for his career in the saddle.
It was announced last month that the former champion, who will be 42 next month, had parted company with the Godolphin operation, which had employed him as its principal jockey for nearly two decades, and Dettori intends to ride as a freelance in 2013.
If his sample was found to contain a metabolite of cocaine, for instance, he could expect to be banned for at least six months, which would rule him out of the first four English Classics of the 2013 season.
But if he has been caught out taking an over-the-counter remedy, he would hope to be back in the saddle in time for the start of the British turf campaign in late March.