Lengthy Dettori ban inevitable

Frankie Dettori is resigned to a lengthy world wide ban from racing after the medical committee of the French racing authorities passed the results of their deliberations to the disciplinary committee of France Galop. He was immediately stood down on medical grounds.

The hearing came about after Dettori provided a sample showing a prohibited substance after racing at Longchamps in September. A statement from France Galop said, “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 France, based on medical grounds.”

Dettori hasn’t ridden anywhere since the Breeders’ Cup meeting in America at the start of November, and has no plans to do so for the time being in any case. Although he did not appear in person before the medical committee, giving evidence via a conference call, his legal representatives did attend the hearing. His solicitor, Christopher Stewart-Moore released a statement on behalf of the jockey saying, “Mr Dettori is very grateful for the opportunity to address the committee. He accepts without reservation the recommendations of the medical committee of France Galop. Once the stewards make their decision he will make a full statement but is unable to do so until such time as that final decision is announced.”

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Dettori clearly has an explanation, and no doubt more will come out when he gives evidence at the hearing of the disciplinary committee. That, France Galop director of racing and regulation Henri Pouret said was likely to be early next month. He said, “In practice it’s usually around 15 days. It can be shorter, it can be longer.” That will depend on whether the disciplinary committee feels it needs additional information before convening.

Dettori’s ban actually only applies to racing in France, but the British Horseracing Authority was quick to confirm that that they would seek evidence that Dettori was fit to ride in Britain should he wish to do so. Speaking for the BHA, Jamie Stiers said, “Should his plans change, he has been made aware that as he has been stood down on medical grounds by France Galop, he would be required to undertake a medical examination by the BHA chief medical adviser before being permitted to ride in Britain.”

Both the Irish and Dubai racing authorities said that they would seek further information from France Galop before allowing Dettori to ride. With apparently incontrovertible evidence that the jockey has committed a major offence, a spell of six months or longer on the sidelines now seems inevitable.

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