Five Year Bans For Jockeys Who Fail Cocaine Test In Ireland

Irish based jockeys have been hit with a new and affective ban that will clamp down on riders that test positive for cocaine as the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board have announced that up to a five year ban could be sanctioned.

This comes after two large bans were handed out to Damien Melia who is a seven pound claimer and still in his apprentice years as a jockey and also Conor Murphy, an amateur jockey who also claims seven pounds.

These two young riders have both been handed four and five year bans from racing by the Irish governing body after they both have tested positive for traces of cocaine.

It is understood that there is supposed to be a third jockey that has also been been tested and it has come back that cocaine was a positive reading in the rider. This case has not been officially heard yet with a suspension still pending.

Murphy, the Irish amateur jockey will now be known for being the jockey to pick up the longest ban ever handed out to an Irish jockey for testing positive for cocaine.

The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board had already doubled the sanction for jockeys testing positive for the Class A drug from two years to four years but they have stated that the message was "not getting through". The two riders were part of a group of five jockeys that tested positive for the substance in 2018.

Damien Melia was tested at Gowran Park on October of 2018 and made the statement that he had been spiked with the substance in one of his drinks.

The referrals committee for the IHRB did place the strong four year ban on the youngster but has said that it would be open to considering an application to get his license back after serving nine months of the respective suspension if he takes part in a recommended programme and co-operates with the governing bodies senior medical officer on request.

Murphy, on the other hand, received the slightly harsher five year suspension after being tested at Cork racecourse in November of 2018. On this day he went on to ride a winner in the hunters chase contest on Carrignagapple.

He was told that he could start reapplying for his jockeys license after an 18 month period had passed from the start of his ban and would adhere to the same rules explained to Damien Melia.