Trackwork rider banned after test

GRAFTON trackwork rider Steve Thompson has been slapped with a six-month riding ban after his second failed drugs test in less than 12 months.

Thompson pleaded guilty at an April 5 stewards' inquiry following a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory which found the urine sample provided by Thompson after his trackwork at the Grafton Racecourse on January 31 had been found to contain metabolites of cannabis, substances banned under AR 81B.

Thompson has been made to undertake drug counselling and will have to provide a further sample free of any banned substances under AR 81A (4).

He will be allowed to resume his stablehand duties on September 11, 2011.

Northern Rivers chief steward Craig Pringle confirmed Thompson's ban, which was extended due to his previous failed test.

Earlier this month Casino trackwork riders Anthony Townsend and Jason Cumming were also outed for three months each after testing positive to cannabis.

“He (Thompson) got six months because he failed a drug test in the middle of last year,” Pringle said.

“He had the right to appeal within a certain time but chose not to.”

Riders, trainers and horses are all subjected to random Racing NSW drug tests throughout each year. And Pringle is happy he is doing his part to keep the sport clean.

“We tend to test them fairly regularly throughout the year,” he said.

“It's not very often (someone tests positive for drugs) for the amount of tests that we do.”

Pringle said the fact Thompson has twice tested positive to a random drug test proved the system worked.

“For sure. There's no doubt about that.”

The Examiner could not contact Thompson for comment yesterday.

Meanwhile, trainer Gordon Yorke was fined $50 under LR 35(2) following Monday's race meet at Grafton.

Yorke failed to declare apprentice Priscilla Schmidt as the rider of Za One in the opening race, the North Beach Bowling and Recreation Club 2YO (1100m).

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