Two Irish jockeys banned after testing positive for cocaine

Two Irish jockeys banned after testing positive for cocaine
Have A Nice Day, with David Simmonson up, on their way to winning the Killashee Handicap at the Curragh Racecourse in the Curragh, Co Kildare. Picture: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

Two Irish jockeys have been banned from racing after testing positive for cocaine.

Cian Cullinan had his licence suspended for four years and David Simmonson for two years by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB).

Neither jockey requested for their ‘B’ Sample to be analysed and both entered guilty pleas.

Mr Cullinan was found to have traces of cocaine present in his system after a test at Listowel Racecourse on September 10.

The Wexford jockey rode his first winner at Ballinrobe later that month.

Senior IHRB medical officer Dr Jennifer Pugh said interactions with Mr Cullinan had been very positive, that he had taken appropriate steps to address the issue, and that what occurred was not indicative of habitual use.

The Referrals Committee accepted the breach appeared to have been a once-off.

Mr Simmonson was found to have traces of cocaine and cannabis in his system after a test at Tipperary Racecourse on August 11.

The Kildare jockey, who has ridden winners on the flat in Britain and Ireland since 2010, cooperated fully and engaged extensively with a rehabilitation programme, according to Dr Pugh.

Mr Simmonson gave evidence outlining the details of that programme, including partaking in various courses and using his time to look at other career options.

The Referrals Committee complimented Mr Simmonson “on the manner in which he had addressed the serious difficulties he faced and acknowledged his willingness to deal with these issues both before and after testing positive”.

They added that his “significant efforts to address matters prior to the positive test needed to be reflected in the way they would deal with penalty”.

Because of the “exceptional circumstances and mitigating factors” in both cases, the jockeys can reapply for a review of their suspensions after a year.

Meanwhile, Liam Quinlan admitted to failing to submit to a drugs test at Galway on August 2.

Dr Pugh said there were personal issues which were contributory factors to the jockey’s behaviour on the day.

The Referrals Committee deferred the imposition of a penalty until next year pending the receipt of further reports.

Meanwhile, Co Meath trainer David Dunne was fined €2,000 after his horse, Druim Samhraidh, tested positive for an anabolic steroid after winning at Ballinrobe in August.

Druim Samhraidh was disqualified and banned from racing for 14 months.

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