Stewards Deny Meche License Application

Jockey Donnie Meche had his application for a riding license rejected by Louisiana Downs stewards Thursday, rendering a stay of his one-year suspension by the Louisiana State Racing Commission on July 1 useless.

Without the license, which expired June 30, Meche cannot ride in the United States. Stewards recommended that his license not be renewed at this time.

"I'm very aggravated about it," Meche told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "I don't think they're treating me right. They're stopping me from providing for my family. They're singling me out."

Meche was given a one-year suspension by the state commission on April 29, backing a ruling issued in February by Delta Downs stewards. The action stemmed from a stewards' ruling that Meche didn't do his best to win a race Jan. 23 at Delta Downs. He was suspended for six months, which was doubled by the commission.

A 30-day drug suspension involving Meche earlier this year was central to the denial of his riding license.

Meche claims his license was denied because he told the commission during the April 29 hearing that he knew he was guilty when he appealed the Fair Grounds suspension in January for a positive amphetamine test. He requested a second sampling and continued to ride while the appeal was pending. Eventually he dropped his appeal and began serving the suspension March 18.

An attorney for the racing commission said Meche had initially denied using drugs before stewards and later admitted to the racing commission that he took amphetamines, which would violate the terms of his license application.

Meche would have to appeal to the commission in order to regain his license. His stay of the suspension remains in effect until July 18.

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