Scottish Daily Mail

Murphy’s sex and co­caine ex­cuse

- By MARCUS TOW­NEND Rac­ing Cor­re­spon­dent

CHAM­PION jockey Oisin Murphy es­caped with a re­duced three-month ban for test­ing pos­i­tive for co­caine af­ter French rac­ing au­thor­i­ties ac­cepted he had been con­tam­i­nated af­ter hav­ing sex with a woman he later learned was a drug user. Murphy, 25, who pro­vided sam­ples of his hair which tested neg­a­tive for the drug, was fac­ing a po­ten­tial six-month ban un­der the sport’s strict li­a­bil­ity rule. Murphy’s sus­pen­sion, which runs from De­cem­ber 11 to March 11, means he will be able to re­turn be­fore the ma­jor meet­ings next spring, in­clud­ing the Dubai World Cup and the 2021 do­mes­tic Clas­sic tri­als, as he seeks to de­fend the cham­pion jockey ti­tle he re­tained ear­lier this month. Murphy said: ‘De­spite my re­lief, I re­gret­fully put my­self in a sit­u­a­tion whereby co­caine was

able to fil­ter into my sys­tem through en­vi­ron­men­tal con­tam­i­na­tion and must l i ve with the con­se­quences. As a pro­fes­sional sports­man I can­not put my­self in a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion again.

‘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.

‘I re­spect the rules of France Galop, re­spect their de­ci­sion and will not be ap­peal­ing.’

Murphy’s ex­pla­na­tion of his pos­i­tive test was sim­i­lar to the 2009 de­fence which en­abled French ten­nis player Richard Gas­quet t o over­turn a pro­vi­sional 12-month ban by claim­ing he had been con­tam­i­nated when kiss­ing a woman who had taken co­caine in a night­club.

The France Galop re­port on the hear­ing stated that nei­ther coun­sel nor Murphy would re­veal any informatio­n about the per­son with whom the jockey had an in­ti­mate en­counter the day be­fore the test.

Robert Fournier Sarloveze, coun­sel for France Galop, asked if Murphy could re­veal any de­tails of the woman but the jockey’s coun­sel re­sponded that Murphy had been con­tacted by her lawyer and was asked not to re­veal her iden­tity.

It was re­vealed that Murphy stopped see­ing her once he learned that she was tak­ing the drug.

Murphy tested pos­i­tive when tak­ing three rides at Chan­tilly on July 19.

He was told by France Galop on Au­gust 19 that his A sam­ple had tested pos­i­tive to a me­tab­o­lite of co­caine.

Paul Struthers, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Pro­fes­sional Jock­eys As­so­ci­a­tion, said: ‘We are in­cred­i­bly grate­ful to France Galop for ac­cept­ing the ev­i­dence which was pre­sented.

‘It is im­por­tant Oisin was able to es­tab­lish that he had not taken co­caine. It is im­por­tant that jock­eys take care to not place them­selves in a sit­u­a­tion where con­tam­i­na­tion could oc­cur.’

 ?? GETTY IMAGES ?? Re­lief: cham­pion jockey Oisin Murphy
GETTY IMAGES Re­lief: cham­pion jockey Oisin Murphy

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