LONDON (Reuters) - Flamboyant British-based Italian jockey Frankie Dettori has been cleared to resume riding by France Galop following a six-month doping ban, the French racing authority said on Thursday.
Dettori’s suspension, handed out after he tested positive at Longchamp in September, expired on May 19 but his return to the saddle was delayed after a test carried out by France Galop produced an “irregularity”, according to the British Horseracing Authority who reciprocated the ban.
The Italian, one of the biggest names in the sport after years of riding big-race winners, met France Galop’s medical committee on Tuesday.
“Today, the medical committee received the information it required. In the light of this latest evidence, it decided to lift the medical contraindication on him race riding in France,” France Galop said in a statement.
The jockey tested positive for an unidentified substance in September but he revealed in an interview with Channel Four television last month that he took cocaine because “things were going bad” and he was “depressed”.
Dettori famously won all seven races in one afternoon at Ascot in 1996, costing bookmakers millions of pounds in payouts.
He announced in October that he was ending his 18-year stint as the retained jockey for the Godolphin stable of Sheikh Mohammed, for whom he has ridden 110 Group One winners around the world since 1994.
Dettori will return as a freelance although he is set to miss out on a ride in Saturday’s Epsom Derby, the richest race in the British flat racing calendar.
Additional reporting by Gregory Blachier in Paris, Writing by Justin Palmer editing by Tony Jimenez