Scottish Daily Mail
Murphy’s sex and cocaine excuse
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.’