Benoit de la Sayette: Teenage jockey banned after testing positive for cocaine

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Benoit de la Sayette and Haqeeqy
De la Sayette is a rising star who won the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster on Haqeeqy

Jockey Benoit de la Sayette has been banned for six months after failing a drugs test just days after denying taking cocaine.

But De la Sayette failed a test days later, when the British Horseracing Authority took samples from the rider.

He can resume riding on 17 October as the ban has been backdated.

After the positive test was announced in April, he said: “I can’t apologise enough for my actions, both for taking cocaine and misleading those around me.”

De la Sayette had been suspended by the BHA until the conclusion of the disciplinary process.

On 27 March, De la Sayette rode Haqeeqy to victory in the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster for top Newmarket trainer John Gosden.

Following the victory he featured in a video that was circulated on Twitter of a party where cocaine was being used, but the PJA insisted at the time that the video was designed to discredit him.

The BHA arranged to take urine and hair samples from De la Sayette on 31 March. The urine sample returned a negative test but the BHA said the hair sample was positive for metabolites of cocaine.

“Benoit has now admitted that he has previously taken cocaine and that he had initially not been as forthcoming as he ought to have been to those close to him and advising him,” said the PJA.

“He maintains that the circulated video was from October 2019, that he did not take cocaine on that occasion and did not do so after winning the Lincoln.”

In a statement, the jockey added: “There are no excuses and I am sorry for letting down my family, the team at Clarehaven Stables, Mr Gosden and my colleagues in the weighing room.”

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