Oisin Murphy is facing a potential spell on the sideslines, with the Champion Jockey handing over a positive urine test for cocaine while riding in France.
The news came to light on Thursday morning, with a sample given by Murphy while riding in France on July 19th containing metabolites of cocaine.
In a statement on behalf of Murphy by the Professional Jockeys Association, Oisin arranged for an “independent laboratory to undertake hair sampling to prove his innocence“.
That sample, taken on August 22nd, came back negative for metabolites of cocaine. Those results have been shared with France Gallop, with the ban likely hinging on the results of his “B” sample.
Speaking in that statement, Murphy said “I have never taken cocaine in my life and will fight to clear my name. I want to thank those who are supporting me and in the meantime I want to keep riding winners and focus on my career“.
Just a day prior, the news broke that fellow jockey Nathan Evans had tested positive for the same substance. Kieran Shoemark, William Carson, Callum Rodriguez and Kevin Lundie have all faced bans for the same offence in recent years.
Other high-profile names include Frankie Dettori, who was stood down for six months in 2012. Kieran Fallon was also banned, initially for six months in 2006 before a second offence in 2008 cost him a further eighteen months.
“I want to keep riding winners”
Champion Apprentice back in 2014, Murphy is a fan-favourite and was crowned Champion Jockey last October. Currently ahead in the Jockey’s Championship, he looks set for a successful defence.
He’s had another landmark season overall, winning the 2000 Guineas on Kameko, his victory in a British classic. Thirteen winners clear of Buick at the time of writing, he sits on the 111-winner mark for the campaign.
Murphy has fifteen rides to close out the week, including Veracious in the Group 1 Sun Chariot at Newmarket on Saturday.