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Jockey Adrian McCarthy,, pictured racing at Chelmsford in October 2019.

The jockey lamented that he had tested over a thousand times the cocaine limit at the Chelmsford race in 2020.

Adrian McCarthy said he was depressed during the lockdown and had taken the drug four or five times when he was drinking in the pub a day or two before the lockdown.

The 42-year-old’s driving licence was revoked for six months by an independent disciplinary committee.

James O’Mahony, the group’s chairman, said cocaine use by riders is harmful to the sport.

In another case heard Thursday, 22-year-old jockey Finley Marsh also lost his license for six months.

He admitted to evading doping tests after using cocaine, and has long called it a baffling mistake.

I have made a mistake. I’m sorry’

McCarthy was arrested after an overnight meeting in Chelmsford on the 15th. October 2020 tested positive for class A drug metabolites.

It shows 150,300 nanograms per milliliter, with a buoyancy limit of 150 ng/mL.

McCarthy said he felt terrible last year and attempted suicide, but after receiving counseling and support, he saw a bright future.

I’m in a bit of trouble at the moment. He drinks constantly, uses drugs and cocaine and tries to fix things. Clearly, this is not helping, he said at the hearing.

I’m in a much better position now than I was before, I just want to put my head down and do the right thing.

We all make mistakes. I made a mistake and I’m sorry. I just need to look forward and work hard.

Cocaine, detrimental to racing

Champion flat jockey Oisin Murphy recently returned from a three-month suspension after testing positive for cocaine in France, although he denies using the drug.

Former champions Kieren Fallon (twice) and Frankie Dettori were also suspended after using cocaine.

Last month it was announced that racing would become the first major sport in the UK to introduce saliva testing, which involves jockeys being tested for illegal substances, including cocaine.

The pilot project is expected to start in the coming weeks.

Charlotte Davison, representing the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in the McCarthy case, said his sample had been taken after he ran in 20.30 last October.

Davison said McCarthy was honest about his chronic drug use and that he used cocaine about three times a week from May 2020 until he tested positive, but never since.

I was in really bad shape, I didn’t care about myself, I didn’t care about anything, I didn’t care about being here, McCarthy said.

Mr O’Mahony stated that exceeding the limit could cause danger to other riders and the horses.

They have let down a lot of people and sports. The use of cocaine in this context is detrimental to the sport, the committee chairman said.

He acknowledged that there is light at the end of the tunnel in McCarthy’s honesty and determination to make a fresh start.

Since his license has been revoked since the 22nd. October suspension, he can come back next month.

Finley Marsh,jockey, said he would never make the same mistake again.

Marsh, for his part, acknowledged a violation of the rules regarding conduct detrimental to the integrity of the race.

Andrew Howell of the BHA said he was booked to ride No Diggity for trainer Nick Littmoden in the 8pm race at Kempton on the 16th. November to hang.

But he called in sick an hour after the warning sign appeared for the jockeys’ test at the track.

Marsh said a friend gave him cocaine at a poker night two days earlier and he panicked.

He missed another scheduled test when he complained of Covid 19 symptoms, although his viral test was negative.

Marsh said he was committed to racing but fell into depression in the second half of 2020.

With the support of his boss Richard Hughes and the Professional Jockeys Association, he received advice and support.

The 16th. In November, I made a mistake that broke me for a long time. Over the last few months, that help has made a difference for me, he said.

I would like to take this moment to apologize to the BHA for violating the rules and regulations of racing. I can assure you this will never happen again.

The group was informed that it has since spoken to the NSC about the type of pressure being put on jockeys.

O’Mahony withdrew his license for six months – amid the events of Nov. 20 – saying Marsh had undermined anti-doping rules essential to racing.

Drug testing of jockeys by BHA

  • 2014 : Urinalysis 533/positive 0
  • 2015 : Tests 295/Positive 3
  • 2016 : Tests 444/Positive 2
  • 2017 : Tests 431/Positive 2
  • 2018 : Tests 521/Positive 1
  • 2019 : Tests 398/Positive 6
  • 2020 : Urine 547/positive 5

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