Kieren Fallon

Kieren Fallon

Anne M. Eberhardt

Jockey Fallon Banned 18 Months

European jockey Kieren Fallon faces a worldwide riding ban after failing a drug test.

European rider Kieren Fallon has been handed a worldwide 18-month ban by France Galop, the French racing authority, after failing a random drug test in that country, according to The Racing Post.

The ban, issued after a hearing in Paris earlier this week, is set to begin Feb. 2. Fallon, 43, has already lodged an appeal against the punishment. The failed test - reportedly for cocaine – was recorded after Fallon achieved group I success aboard Myboycharlie in the Darley Prix Morny at Deauville last August. The latest action taken by France Galop followed the results of a B-test sample that confirmed the original positive test for a banned substance, The Racing Post reported.

A six-time champion jockey in Britain, Fallon was recently cleared of charges of conspiracy to defraud Befair 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.

The primary rider for John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor, Fallon rode for conditioner Aidan O’Brien, who ended 2007 as champion trainer in Ireland and in Britain.