• Horse Racing

Dettori won't ride after France Galop suspension

ESPN staff
November 21, 2012
Frankie Dettori in being investigated after producing a positive doping test © PA Photos

Frankie Dettori has been temporarily suspended from riding in France after producing a 'positive test' at Longchamps in September, France Galop revealed in a statement on Wednesday. The jockey has now vowed not to ride anywhere in the world until his hearing.

The decision to suspend Dettori follows a preliminary inquiry into his failed test at France Galop's headquarters in Paris.

The French association's medical committee has transferred the case, leaving France Galop to decide whether to open its own investigation and extend the suspension beyond two weeks.

"Following yesterday's examination of the file and after having duly notified the jockey Lanfranco Dettori of its decision, the medical committee has temporarily suspended the said jockey from riding in races in France, based on medical grounds," France Galop said in a statement.

"According to article 143 of the Rules of Racing, the medical committee's report has been passed on to the France Galop stewards. [They] will be studying the file within the next fortnight before deciding what action will be taken in accordance with the Rules of Racing."

Dettori, flat racing's most recognisable jockey, had been tested six times in England this season. France Galop denied reports that the 41-year-old had been targeted after it had received a tip-off.

A statement from Dettori's solicitor, Christopher Stewart-Moore, later said: "Following today's announcement by France Galop setting out the conclusions of their medical committee, Frankie Dettori would like to say that he accepts their conclusions without reservation.

"He is grateful to the medical committee for their time and in particular for listening to his explanation of his position.

"As to the suspension of his licence in France, this is something which he fully anticipated and has not in any event ridden since November 6 when he honoured a pre-existing commitment to ride in the Melbourne Cup.

"He can now confirm that until the matter is resolved by the Stewards of France Galop at a hearing within the next fortnight he will not be riding again anywhere. Once the stewards of France Galop make their decision he will make a full statement but is unable to do so until such time as that final decision is announced."

The Italian, whose lawyer has insisted that the substance involved is not a performance-enhancing drug, could escape without any further punishment or face a maximum-six month worldwide ban.

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