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
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 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.