Dettori faces anxious wait on drug test verdict

French body deny claims that the jockey's positive test came following a tip-off.

Frankie Dettori's positive test has come months after he lost his retainership with Godolphin.
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France Galop have denied that Frankie Dettori was targeted when he tested positive for a banned substance in September.

The 41-year-old jockey's solicitor, Christopher Stewart-Moore, was in France yesterday at a hearing of France Galop's medical committee, which comprised three doctors.

Dettori now faces a wait of up to two weeks before he learns his fate, as France Galop, the regulatory body for French racing, receive a report from the committee from which their stewards can give a verdict.

The hearing was to establish the level of level of the substance that was in Dettori's body at Longchamp, Paris, on September 16.

Dettori was invited to attend, but did not, and contributed to proceedings via conference call. It is not known whether he is in Europe or Dubai.

"Frankie Dettori is not here, but there is no obligation for him to be here. He can be represented or send documents," a France Galop spokesman said.

A British newspaper last week suggested France Galop had been given a tip-off about the former Godolphin rider but a spokesman said it was untrue.

"Frankie Dettori was not targeted. On average we test around five jockeys a day, and on big days we test 15-20," Julien Pescatore, the director of press relations for France Galop, said.

Dettori was tested at Longchamp having partnered two Godolphin horses. The Italian rider was tested alongside five others. Three had their breath tested for alcohol, while two gave urine samples for drugs.

Once Dettori was informed of his positive test, the rider had eight days to arrange his B sample to be taken to one of three laboratories recommended by France Galop.

It has been reported that Dettori tested positive for cocaine. It remains unconfirmed but if true he could be banned for up to six months.

Pescatore said that France Galop carry out up to 900 drugs tests a year, and that each jockey would be subject to at least one test every year.

Dettori was tested six times on British racecourses in 2012, but not once in Dubai, where the Emirates Racing Authority does not have a testing procedure of any kind for jockeys.

"At this time there is no drug testing policy for the Emirates Racing Authority," Gerard Bush, the chief steward, said. "The drug laws of the UAE are well documented. Those laws would have jurisdiction over any member of the racing community that competes or takes part in any way in racing in the UAE."