October 6, 2017 / 8:31 AM / a year ago

Irish jockey Gibbons banned for positive test, sample switch

(Reuters) - Irish jockey Graham Gibbons has been banned for two-and-a-half years after failing a drugs test and attempting to swap urine samples with another rider, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) said on Thursday.

Gibbons, a leading all-weather circuit flat racing jockey, was among a group of riders selected for random testing at the Kempton meeting last December and tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine.

He was then caught attempting to swap urine samples with Callum Shepherd, who was not charged.

The Irishman had voluntarily not ridden since Dec. 9 and received a two-year ban by the disciplinary panel of the BHA due to the attempted urine switch and a six-month ban for the failed drugs test. The bans will run concurrently until June 8, 2019.

“Graham Gibbons, found in breach of Rule (D)65, received 6 months suspension from 9 Dec 2016 to 8 June 2017 inclusive,” the BHA said on their official Twitter account.

“Gibbons also found in breach of Rule (A)30 and receives a two-year suspension from 9 June 2017 until 8 June 2019 inclusive.”

The 35-year-old was on course to record 100 winners in a calendar year for the first time before the failed drugs test. He was previously banned from riding for 35 days after failing a breath test for alcohol in 2007.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru

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