Dettori faces inquiry in France after positive test

Frankie Dettori is set to face a France Galop inquiry next week after testing positive for a banned substance at Longchamp in September.

Solicitor Christopher Stewart-Moore released a statement on behalf of Dettori revealing the news the Medical Committee of the French authority are planning a hearing.

The statement said: “On behalf of Frankie Dettori I can confirm that, as a consequence of a positive test at Longchamp on September 16 2012, he will be the subject of an inquiry by the Medical Committee of France Galop next week.

Dettori had four rides at Longchamp on September 16, a day of major trials for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe meeting the following month.

The Italian partnered Marco Botti’s Joshua Tree to finish third in the Qatar Prix Foy, while the John Hammond-trained Sarah Lynx trailed home last in the Prix Vermeille.

He was then beaten just a head into second on Godolphin’s Farhh in the Prix du Moulin and was third for his former employers on Willing Foe in the Prix Gladiateur.

France Galop have not commented on proceedings and in previous similar cases they have not issued a statement before the hearing.

Dettori made the headlines last month when his 18-year association with Godolphin came to an end, with the three-times champion jockey planning to ride as a freelance in 2013.

The 41-year-old partnered nine English Classic winners in the royal blue silks, including their first in 1994 Oaks victor Balanchine, and a total of 110 Group or Grade One winners for the owner.

A host of Dettori’s big-race winners have been trained by Godolphin handler Saeed bin Suroor, including four of those that formed the rider’s ’Magnificent Seven’ at Ascot on September 28, 1996.

The Italian jockey also rode the great Dubai Millennium to glory in the Dubai World Cup of 2000, one of his three wins in the world’s richest race.

He had recently been sharing the Godolphin rides with fellow retained jockeys Mickael Barzalona and Silvestre de Sousa before the split.

Bookmakers Stan James have removed Dettori from their betting for next year’s Jockeys’ Championship, for which he was a 12-1 shot.

Dettori would not be the first high-profile jockey to fall foul of the French authority.

Kieren Fallon was banned for six months by France Galop in 2006 after returning a positive test for a metabolite of a banned substance.

France Galop then him banned for a further 18 months after a second positive test in August 2007.

Indeed, Dettori himself was cautioned by police for possession of cocaine in 1993.

Asked in 2010 about his biggest regret, he said: “Getting caught with cocaine in 1993. I was on all the front pages and put my family through hell. I was cocky and had too much too soon. It made me grow up.”

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