Jockey Banned After Testing Positive for Cocaine

25-year-old Irish jockey Oisin Murphy has tested positive for cocaine and will receive a three-month ban as a result. It is reported that on that Murphy produced a positive urine test for metabolites of cocaine after a racecourse test in France in July. He has denied taking the drug, a claim that he says investigators have accepted.

When urine is being screened for the presence of cocaine, it is actually benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, that is being measured. A urine drug test for cocaine will normally test positive if the user has taken the drug in the last 3 to 5 days, For chronic users, cocaine can stay in your system for much longer, sometimes up to 14 days.

Mr Murphy stated that, on the night before the race, he had sex with a woman, who he later found out was a cocaine user. The commissioners accepted his claim and the jockey stated that he was “hugely relieved” to have been cleared of taking the drug. In his defence, Murphy produced the results of a hair strand drug test which confirmed that he had not used cocaine.

Hair follicle drug tests are performed to determine whether someone has used certain substances at any point in the past three months.

The jockey will now face a three month ban from riding, which will run from 11 December 2020, to 11 March 2021 inclusive. Jockey’s in France can normally expect a six month ban if they test positive for cocaine.

Recently, another jockey, Nathan Evans was given a six-month ban after he tested positive for cocaine after a meeting in York in August. Also, former jockey Ryan While received a two year suspension from the sport after failing to give a urine sample in July 2019.

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