Saturday 3 December 2016

Jockeys Kevin Sexton and Danny Grant suspended for positive cocaine tests

Johnny Ward

Published 07/11/2016 | 15:59

Kevin Sexton failed a drugs test at the festival in Ballybrit. Both his ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples tested positive for cocaine. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
Kevin Sexton failed a drugs test at the festival in Ballybrit. Both his ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples tested positive for cocaine. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE

KEVIN SEXTON is set to face six months sidelined after the Turf Club suspended him for a positive drugs test at the Galway festival on Monday.

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The former champion conditional was given a two-year ban but the last 18 months will be deferred if he does not test positive in the same period. Sexton was found to have cocaine in his system during the Galway test.

The Co Kildare native has also undertaken to be randomly sampled as required by the Turf Club Senior Medical Officer, Adrian McGoldrick.

The highly talented and popular rider will now aim to rebuild his career, yet he has had enormous support from trainers and owners since news emerged of his failed test.

Sexton won the lucrative Troytown Chase for Gordon Elliott in 2014. After a brief spell out of the stable, he resumed riding for Elliott recently, partnering a winner at Galway.

Danny Grant is also set to serve a lengthy suspension after testing positive for a metabolite of cocaine.

Grant was suspended in 2010 and 2014 for the same offence.

It was discovered that the source of the failed drugs test was a herbal tea product called Mate De Coca, which the jockey had bought online.

The teabags, bought to help soothe a long-standing skin condition, were consequently sent to the Turf Club for testing and indicated the presence of cocaine.

A Turf Club statement read: "Danny Grant accepts he is in breach of Rule 277(I). As he was stood down from September 2, 2016, the commencement date for the suspension is this date.

"The 18 months suspended penalty from 2014 commences on this date and ends on March 2, 2018.

"In addition a further penalty of three years was imposed to run concurrently from September 2, 2016 for the two rule breaches dealt with today.

"However, Danny can make application to the Referrals Committee at any time after March 2, 2018 to lift the suspension.

"The source of the cocaine metabolite was accepted as the Mate De Coca tea which Danny had to recommence taking to aid his skin condition."

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