Fallon Loses Appeal of 18-Month Ban

Fallon Loses Appeal of 18-Month Ban
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Kieran Fallon
European top jockey Kieran Fallon, banned from racing for 18 months by the French racing authority, was denied his appeal of the sentence which was issued after a failed drugs test, the Racing Post reported Feb. 8.

Fallon, who earlier this week confirmed that he will gallop horses for trainer Sir Michael Stoute as he serves the suspension, will not be able to resume his career in the saddle until Aug. 8, 2009. He was hit with the 18-month ban by France Galop after testing positive for a banned substance following a race at Deauville in August of 2007.

A six-time champion jockey in Britain, Fallon was recently cleared of charges of conspiracy to defraud Betfair customers following a trial at the Old Bailey in London. Fallon had been prohibited from riding in Britain while the race-fixing case was ongoing but had been free to ride both in his native Ireland and France last year. He had returned to race riding in June last year after serving a six-month ban for substance abuse from France Galop in 2006. 

Although many marked this recent setback as the potential end of Fallon’s career, the jockey said he plans to make yet another return to racing.

“It would have made a big difference to be able to return to race-riding at the beginning of the season next year, rather than midway through it. But at least the uncertainty is over,” he told the British publication The Independent. “There have been many jockeys come back from far worse situations than this. I really do believe that I can come back a stronger person.”

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