independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Contrite Dettori expecting global ban

Frankie Dettori has put his hands up and accepted that he will be banned at a forthcoming hearing before the disciplinary committee of France-Galop.

The findings of the French racing authority's medical committee at Dettori's drugs inquiry on Tuesday, which lasted more than two hours, have, as expected, been passed to the disciplinary committee.

Dettori is reported to be now preparing himself for the imposition of a global suspension at a second hearing on a date still to be fixed, but which is thought likely to be early December.

The three-man medical committee ruled that Dettori should be stripped of the medical clearance that enables all jockeys to apply for their licence, pending the outcome of the forthcoming disciplinary committee inquiry.

In effect, it means that he is unable to ride in France – he had absolutely no intention of doing so, in any case – from yesterday.

French racing authorities forwarded Dettori's case file to the disciplinary stewards and issued a press release reporting that the Italian was now unable to ride in France.

His name is listed under the heading 'Penalties Jockeys', with the accompanying comment that it is on the advice of the medical committee.

The France-Galop statement said: "Following yesterday's examination of the file 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 a statement issued yesterday by the jockey's solicitor Christopher Stewart-Moore, the tone was unmistakably contrite. The statement read: "Mr Dettori is very grateful for the opportunity to address the committee. He accepts without reservation the recommendations of the medical committee.

"Once the stewards make their decision he will make a full statement but is unable to do so until such time as that final decision is announced."

The fact that Dettori's file has been sent on to a higher level of authority and that his licence in France has been withdrawn is an indication that the medical committee was satisfied with the accuracy of the tests carried out on the jockey in a random swoop at Longchamp on September 16. It also indicates that the prohibited substance discovered in Dettori's sample is such that a penalty should be imposed.

Dettori gave his evidence to the medical committee on Tuesday by telephone in a conference call and his legal team have indicated that he is likely to apply for a similar facility at the second hearing.

Dettori now awaits the conclusion to the case that has come as an untimely embarrassment. He has been used to hitting the headlines throughout his successful career, but ever since he accepted the ride on the Aidan O'Brien-trained Camelot in the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe in early October, he has been the centre of attention.

The fact that he took that ride for Coolmore was seen by many as a sign of an imminent split with Godolphin, his employers for 18 years, and that was confirmed shortly afterwards when both sides stated that the relationship was "not working out". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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