LONDON (Reuters) - Italian jockey Frankie Dettori has revealed he took cocaine before a positive dope test in France last September that brought him a six months ban.
In an interview with Channel Four television to be broadcast on Thursday, the British-based jockey - one of the biggest names in flat racing - was asked why he took cocaine and in what circumstances.
“Things were going bad, I was depressed and I guess a moment of weakness and I fell for it and I’ve only got myself to blame. I can’t blame anybody else,” he said in a preview released by the broadcaster.
Dettori, who won all seven races in a single afternoon at Ascot in 1996, said he was so ashamed and embarrassed when the news broke that he hid in his house for a week.
“The paparazzi outside. The embarrassment of telling the children, you know. You know they still go to school, they might get bullied and so it was a very, very difficult time,” he continued.
The interview was Dettori’s first since he was suspended from December 19 by the French racing authority France Galop after the positive test for a previously unidentified substance at Longchamp.
The ban expires on May 19.
“I’m very ashamed and embarrassed, and paid a big price for it, you know. I spent six months not doing the thing that I love, racing,” said Dettori.
Dettori will return as a freelance rider after it was announced in October that he would no longer be a retained jockey for Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation after an 18-year association.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Justin Palmer