Racing

Oisin Murphy vows to prove innocence after testing positive for cocaine

Kameko ridden by Oisin Murphy wins the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket Racecourse..
Anita Chambers

Champion jockey Oisin Murphy has vowed to do "everything that I can" to prove his innocence after testing positive for metabolites of cocaine at a meeting in France earlier in the year.

Murphy was tested by France Galop at Chantilly on July 19, where he partnered The Lir Jet to finish second in the Group Two Prix Robert Papin.

The rider was informed in August of his positive result and subsequently organised a hair sample test, which returned a negative result, according to the Professional Jockeys Association.

A statement issued on his behalf by the PJA said: "On July 19, 2020 Oisin Murphy was selected for urine testing at Chantilly racecourse. On August 19 he was informed by France Galop that his 'A' sample had returned positive for metabolites of cocaine.

"On the same day, Oisin organised for an independent laboratory to undertake hair sampling to prove his innocence. The hair sample was taken on August 22, with the collection process filmed by the laboratory for authenticity.

"The laboratory analysed multiple 0.3cm segments of Oisin's hair and on August 26 the results of the hair test returned completely negative for metabolites of cocaine, which was entirely expected as Oisin has never taken cocaine.

"These results have been shared with France Galop and he awaits the results of France Galop's analysis of his 'B' sample."

Murphy maintains his innocence, adding: "I have never taken cocaine in my life and I will do everything that I can to prove that I have not taken cocaine.

"I want to thank those who are supporting me and in the meantime I want to keep riding winners and focus on my career.

"I will have no further comment to make and wish to respect the processes of France Galop."

The champion jockey also told Sportsmail: ''The test results came back a month after the test. I couldn't believe it so had a hair sample done that was recorded on camera. That has come back completely negative and the B sample hasn't been tested yet.

'Until that has been tested I don't know where I stand. I hope it is negative. I have known about this but it is a slow process.

''I have ridden two group one winners in this period. I will keep my head down and keep riding.''

Murphy, who is retained rider to Qatar Racing, enjoyed a landmark first Classic victory aboard Kameko in the 2000 Guineas back in June and last week partnered Alcohol Free to Group One glory in the Cheveley Park Stakes.

He is also leading the way in the Flat jockeys' championship with 111 winners to his credit at the start of racing on Thursday, 13 ahead of William Buick in second place.

The British Horseracing Authority has been informed of the matter, and a spokesperson said: "We have been made aware that there is an ongoing anti-doping matter in France in relation to Oisin Murphy, which is currently the subject of further analytical investigation.

"We will continue to liaise with the Professional Jockeys Association and France Galop, and assess any new information as it becomes available."

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