JOCKEY Nathan Evans has been banned for six months after testing positive for cocaine.
His suspension comes just hours after champion jockey Oisin Murphy was given a three-month ban after a positive test for the drug.
A disiplinary panel heard Evans, 23, had taken cocaine two days before a race meeting.
He was tested ahead of the Goffs UK Premier Yearling Stakes at York on August 20 – a race in which he finished eighth.
Seven days later he was told his urine sample confirmed the presence of the Class A drug.
Evans said his act of ‘silliness’ came at a time when he was drinking ‘quite a lot’ because ‘things hadn’t been going my way’.
Rory Mac Neice, who represented Evans at the hearing, said: “Mr Evans accepts that he is in breach. He has made full admissions, he did so at the first opportunity.
“The background behind the commission of this offence is, I am afraid, all too familiar. It speaks to the pressures of riders, the isolation of riders, the fact that ultimately – almost uniquely – jockeys are engaged in a profession where they lose in nearly everything they do.
“Even the very best jockeys only win 20-25 per cent of the races they ride in.
“The vast majority of riders have a winning percentage in single digits. It is a tough way to earn a living. It is an isolating way to earn a living. It is not a team game.”
More to follow. Refresh for updates.