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Frankie waits on drugs fate

A VERDICT on any suspension for Frankie Dettori after the jockey tested positive for a banned substance in France has yet to be announced.

The 41-year-old did not appear personally before the Medical Committee of the French racing authority, France Galop, in Paris, but did make his own representation via conference call.

The committee will make their findings known to France Galop and it is understood the stewards will meet in two weeks' time to discuss it.

Dettori's legal representative Christopher Stewart-Moore was at the hearing and he confirmed that no decision has been announced yet.

In a statement he said: "A hearing of the Medical Committee of France Galop was held at 12.30 (Paris time) today, at which Frankie Dettori and his legal advisers made representations.

"The Medical Committee will announce their decision shortly, and we will then comment further on Frankie Dettori's behalf."

France Galop media relations manager Julien Pescatore has underlined the authority's policy of issuing no statement until the matter is resolved.

He said: "The medical committee have had their hearing. Mr Dettori was not in Paris but he was represented by Christopher Stewart-Moore.

"The medical committee will give their decision to the jockey and as long as he has not received it, France Galop will not communicate anything."

Stewart-Moore declined to name the substance involved when releasing a statement last week, but said it was "not a performance-enhancing drug".

It has been widely reported Dettori failed the test due to the presence of cocaine, but Pescatore says France Galop will not confirm the banned substance involved.

He added: "Also, I can tell you the substance will never be revealed by either the medical commission or France Galop. That is always the case."

Dettori had four rides at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe trials meeting on September 16, after which the sample was returned.

He rode Joshua Tree to finish third in the Prix Foy, Sarah Lynx who trailed home last in the Prix Vermeille, then Farhh who was beaten a head in the Prix du Moulin and Willing Foe, another Godolphin charge, who came in third in the Prix Gladiateur.

Dettori made the headlines last month when his 18-year association with powerful owners Godolphin came to an end, with the three-times champion jockey planning to ride as a freelance in 2013.

Imperial Commander has been ruled out of this weekend's Betfair Chase at Haydock after suffering a setback.

The 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero has been sidelined by injury since pulling up in the Prestbury Park showpiece in March of last year, but trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies had been looking forward to seeing him return on Saturday for a race he won two years ago.

Twiston-Davies said: "He's suffered a small fracture of a splint bone in a hind leg unfortunately. It's nothing dramatic, but it means he won't be in full work for around six weeks."

Cue Card's next possible target will be the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon on December 13.

Colin Tizzard's nippy chaser, a former Champion Bumper winner, finished a fine second to Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle last March and successfully stepped out of novice company at the first attempt by lifting the sportingbet Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.


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