Frankie Dettori

Frankie Dettori

Rick Samuels

Dettori Suspended 'On Medical Grounds'

Jockey tested positive for unidentified banned substance at Longchamp Sept. 16.

The French horse racing federation says jockey Frankie Dettori has been suspended from racing in France, based on medical grounds following a positive drug test.

Dettori, one of the world's best known riders, tested positive for an unidentified banned substance on Sept. 16 after riding at Longchamp.The British-based jockey will not ride anywhere else or make any comment until the matter is settled.

According to the Racing Post, Dettori gave evidence via conference call to a panel of three doctors convened in Paris Nov. 20, after which the independent medical commission decided to pass the matter on to France Galop's disciplinary committee.

A statement released by French racing's governing body Nov. 21 said: "Following yesterday's examination of the file and after having duly notified the jockey Lanfranco Dettori of its decision, the medical committee has temporarily suspended the said jockey from riding in races in France, based on medical grounds.

"According to article 143 of the Rules of Racing, the medical committee's report has been passed on to the France Galop stewards. The France Galop stewards will be studying the file within the next fortnight before deciding what action will be taken in accordance with the Rules of Racing. "

The suspension lasts at least until Dettori's next hearing before France Galop, which could take place within the next two weeks, spokesman Julien Pescatore said. No date has been set.

Dettori's lawyer, Christopher Stewart-Moore, said the jockey ``will not be riding anywhere'' until the stewards have made their final decision.

``He is grateful to the medical committee for their time and in particular for listening to his explanation of his position,'' Stewart-Moore said in a statement.

Dettori has not raced since the Nov. 6 Melbourne Cup (Aus-I), where he finished 14th on Cavalryman.

``Once the stewards of France Galop make their decision he will make a full statement, but is unable to do so until such time as that final decision is announced,'' Stewart-Moore said.

Jamie Stier, director of raceday operations and regulation for the British Horse Racing Authority, told Racing Post: "We have spoken to Frankie Dettori and his solicitor, and ascertained that he has no intention of riding in Britain between now and his hearing with France Galop.
"Should his plans change, he has been made aware that as he has been stood down by France Galop on medical grounds, he would be required to undertake a medical examination by the BHA chief medical adviser before being permitted to ride in Britain."
Last month, Godolphin Racing announced that it would no longer retain the 41-year-old Dettori as a stable rider. Godolphin's retained riders for next year will be Mickael Barzalona and Silvestre de Sousa.
Dettori rode Godolphin's first classic winner, Balanchine, in 1994 and has been aboard many of the stable's top horses since, winning 110 grade or group I races. Champion jockey in Great Britain in 1994, 1995, and 2004, he has won virtually every major international race, including 10 Breeders' Cup World Championships events.
In 1993, Dettori was cautioned by British police for cocaine possession. The identity of the banned substance in this recent case is covered by medical confidentiality under French law.