Dettori must wait to discover fate over positive drug test
RACING:It appears Frankie Dettori must endure another wait before discovering what penalties await him over September’s positive drugs test in France.
The world’s most famous jockey gave evidence by conference call to a France Galop medical committee hearing in Paris yesterday, after which it was confirmed the committee’s findings will be given to a disciplinary body hearing which may not convene for another two weeks.
Although a France Galop spokesperson yesterday declined to specify the substance to which Dettori (41) tested positive at Longchamp on Arc Trials day, it has been widely reported the Italian’s positive was for cocaine. If that is the case, he faces a six-month worldwide suspension from race-riding. The jockey’s lawyer Christopher Stewart-Moore said last week that the positive test was not for a performance-enhancing drug.
A two-week delay in finally deciding what action can potentially be taken against Dettori guarantees more speculation as to the exact nature of the offence, an uncomfortable reality for him and racing in general as its most high-profile star makes headlines for all the wrong reasons.
However, France Galop media relations manager Julien Pescatore has underlined the authority’s policy of issuing no statement until the matter is resolved.
“The medical committee have had their hearing. Mr Dettori was not in Paris but he was represented by Christopher Stewart-Moore. The medical committee will give their decision to the jockey and as long as he has not received it, France Galop will not communicate anything,” he said. “If the medical commission want France Galop to communicate something . . . later on, then we can do that, but that is up to them.”
Irish jockey Kieren Fallon was banned for six months by France Galop in 2006 after a positive test for a metabolite of cocaine. French racing’s regulatory body then banned him for a further 18 months after a second positive test in 2007.
Dettori had four rides at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe trials meeting on September 16th, after which the sample was returned. They included Joshua Tree who was third in the Prix Foy and Farrh who was beaten a head in the Group One Prix Du Moulin.
Last month his 18-year role as top retained jockey with Godolphin ended when the triple champion announced his intention to freelance in 2013.