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Ill jockey hit with ?10,000 bill after failing drugs test

WARREN O'CONNOR has become the first Irish-based jockey to fall foul of the drugs testing-in-performance regime.

The Wexford rider, who is suffering from a chronic inflammatory disease and has since retired, tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine after competing at the Curragh on May 27 last.

O'Connor admitted the offence, which took place on the day of the Irish 2,000 Guineas, and was ordered to pay ?10,000 towards the "significant costs" of yesterday's Turf Club hearing.

O'Connor enjoyed plenty of success in his early days as stable jockey to Michael Kauntze, particularly with Kooyonga, but he retired this summer after being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, a condition which affects the digestive system.

In arriving at their verdict, the Turf Club noted that O'Connor "had purported to relinquish his jockey licence on on September 14", so they directed their Licensing Committee not to consider any application from him before October 1 next and then only if he furnishes a Turf Club-approved report that he's medically fit.

However, it looks odds-on that there's not going to be any such application as O'Connor - the son of former trainer Jimmy O'Connor and brother of ex-jumps rider David - is unlikely to ever ride again due to his deteriorating health.

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