Champion Jockey Suspended till Next Feb

Champion jockey Oisin Murphy has been banned for 11 months after admitting to breaking rules covering Covid, misleading the British Horseracing Authority and prejudicial conduct and must serve an additional 100 days for two alcohol breaches.

The rider faced five charges, two relating to failed tests for alcohol in May and October last year and separate counts of misleading the authority as to his whereabouts and accessing a racecourse in breach of Covid-19 restrictions – both in September 2020 – and to conduct prejudicial to the good reputation of the sport.

Murphy temporarily relinquished his licence when the charges were announced as he sought professional help, so his suspension will be backdated to December 8.

The 26-year-old, who was also fined a total of £31,111, admitted all five charges brought against him by the BHA.

The panel, chaired by His Honour James O’Mahony who was along side Rachel Spearing and Anthony Connell, heard the BHA’s case first, put forward by Charlotte Davison.

She outlined a timeline of events from when Murphy went on holiday on September 9, 2020 to September 19. Murphy had gone to the Greek island of Mykonos, which was on the Covid red-list at the time, but he had attempted to convince officials he had been at Lake Como.

Murphy subsequently failed two breath tests for alcohol last year, on May 5 at Chester and October 8 at Newmarket – his second and third breaches within the allotted time period to trigger a lengthy ban.

The three-times champion will be ineligible to reapply for his licence until February 16, 2023.

Murphy made a lengthy statement to the BHA panel, in which he outlined his alcohol issues and admitted lying about his whereabouts in 2020.

He concluded by saying: “I couldn’t undo the lies and deceit. Now that I’m sober I’m a different person and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have made those errors sober, but I can’t go back in time and I’m afraid they were grave issues.

“I dealt with success and failure the same. Drink was the rock I perished on. People had told me this could happen but I failed to avoid it and fell into the trap.

“The day I picked up the championship trophy there was no element of joy in it for me. I admit all the breaches and just wish I could have dealt with them better.”

Sporting life 

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