ITALIAN jockey Frankie Dettori has admitted he took cocaine before a positive dope test in France last September that brought him a six-month ban.
Asked why he took cocaine and in what circumstances, Dettori said: "Things were going bad, I was depressed and I guess a moment of weakness and I fell for it and I've only got myself to blame. I can't blame anybody else."
Dettori, who won all seven races in a single afternoon at Ascot in 1996, said he was so ashamed and embarrassed when the news broke that he hid in his house for a week.
"The paparazzi outside. The embarrassment of telling the children, you know. You know they still go to school, they might get bullied and so it was a very, very difficult time," he continued.
The interview was Dettori's first since he was suspended from December 19 by the French racing authority France Galop after the positive test for a previously unidentified substance at Longchamp.
The ban expires on May 19.
"I'm very ashamed and embarrassed, and paid a big price for it, you know. I spent six months not doing the thing that I love, racing," added Dettori.
Dettori will return as a freelance rider after it was announced in October that he would no longer be a retained jockey for Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin operation after an 18-year association.