Diet drug to blame for Payne fail­ure

The Observer - - DIGEST SPORT - — Matt Ste­wart

RAC­ING: Cham­pion jockey Michelle Payne yes­ter­day ex­pressed re­gret over a drug breach that led to a one month rid­ing sus­pen­sion handed down by stew­ards.

Payne re­vealed dur­ing the in­quiry that the lin­ger­ing ef­fects from surgery that fol­lowed a near fa­tal race fall re­quired her to use the diet drug phen­ter­mine.

She said she was em­bar­rassed by the pos­i­tive drug test, taken at the Swan Hill races on June 11, and would work with her sur­geon to seek a more suitable med­i­ca­tion.

Payne said she “takes full re­spon­si­bil­ity” for the in­ad­ver­tent breach and that she re­gret­ted not seek­ing greater med­i­cal guid­ance.

“This is 100 per cent my fault,” she said.

Payne (pic­tured) won the 2015 Mel­bourne Cup aboard Prince Of Pen­zance and re­cently rode at the fa­mous Royal As­cot Meet­ing in the UK.

Payne can re­sume track work rid­ing once she pro­duces a clear urine sam­ple.

PHOTO: JOE CAS­TRO/AAP

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