Friday 22 March 2019

Robinson gets ban over positive test for cocaine

Dylan Robinson. Photo: Sportsfile
Dylan Robinson. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Jockey Dylan Robinson has been banned for three years after testing positive for cocaine at an October meeting in Galway last year.

Robinson - a leading conditional based with Henry de Bromhead's highly successful Waterford yard - rode the biggest winner of his fledgling career last October when guiding Ornua to Grade Three success at Roscommon.

Robinson was one of five jockeys who tested positive for cocaine in Ireland last year and was handed the suspension by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) following a Referrals Committee hearing on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old accepted that he was in breach of WADA rules and pleaded guilty but he could not explain why as he could not remember events from the night in question and did not remember taking any substance.

It was accepted by the committee that the incident was a "once-off" and the IHRB will review the matter again later this year with consideration given to the issue of a partial suspension. That potentially could allow Robinson - who had 13 winners on the board this season - to ride again from January 1, 2020 but that will be subject to the jockey having "positive engagement with medical and associated matters at the time".

Meanwhile, the IHRB will introduce more stringent rules surrounding whip use after a sharp rise in the number of penalties handed out to jockeys for such offences last year.

A total of 213 penalties were handed out for whip use in 2018, a 26pc increase on the previous year's figure, and IHRB chief Denis Egan expressed disappointment at the rise and promised that action will be taken against those who break the rules.

"The IHRB will be introducing more stringent whip rules in the coming months and for the first time there will be a restriction on the number of strikes allowed. There will also be higher penalties for frequent offenders," Egan said yesterday.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) introduced guidelines in 2011 where a whip could be used a maximum of seven times in a Flat race and eight times in a National Hunt race.

It can also only be used five times in the last furlong of a Flat event and from the last obstacle in a jumps race and IHRB are likely to follow similar rules.

Irish Independent

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