Jockey Oisin Murphy prevented from riding at Newmarket after failing pre-racing breath test

Two-time champion jockey Oisin Murphy prevented from riding at Newmarket after failing pre-racing breath test for second time

  • Oisin Murphy was stood down after he failed a pre-racing breathalyser test 
  • He is expected to be crowned champion jockey for a third time next Saturday 
  • The jockey, 26, tested positive for cocaine while riding in France last year

Oisin Murphy became only the third Flat jockey to fail a pre-racing breathalyser test for a second time when stood down at Newmarket on Friday and prevented from taking his six mounts.

The rider, who is expected to be crowned champion jockey for a third time at Ascot next Saturday, will return at Newmarket on Saturday but the incident is a dent to his reputation.

It also raises questions over Murphy’s professionalism, given he served a three-month suspension over the winter after testing positive for cocaine while riding in France last year.

Jockey Oisin Murphy (above) was stood down after he failed a pre-racing breathalyser test

Murphy will return at Newmarket on Saturday but the incident is a dent to his reputation

Murphy will return at Newmarket on Saturday but the incident is a dent to his reputation

That positive was blamed on cross-contamination which Murphy said had occurred after having sex with a woman he later learned was a cocaine-user.

Murphy, 26, first failed a breathalyser test when riding at Salisbury in June 2019. Under BHA rules, any second offence within 24 months could incur a ban of up to 21 days.

But because Murphy’s ban falls outside that timeframe, it is treated as another first offence — with standing down for the day the penalty again.

However, the BHA Disciplinary Committee can work outside the guidelines should they see fit.

Murphy, 26, first failed a breathalyser test when riding at Salisbury in June 2019

Murphy, 26, first failed a breathalyser test when riding at Salisbury in June 2019

Murphy is a role model to many young racing fans, cultivating a big social media following.

He used that platform to confirm yesterday’s positive test, saying: ‘I’m sorry to all the people I’ve let down today. I take full responsibility.’

Murphy’s lead in the jockey championship was cut to nine — still virtually unassailable — when rival William Buick rode a double on Al Suhail and Siskany.

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