IMMEDIATE steps must be taken to reduce the time for testing procedures.
Champion jockey Oisin Murphy appeared at High Holborn on Tuesday, where he faced two charges.
The first one was related to a breach of Covid protocols in September 2020.
The second was for two failed alcohol tests in May and October 2021, as well as one overarching charge of “acts detrimental to the proper integrity, conduct and good reputation of the sport.”
Those who imposed fines decided that he would not be able to skate until February next year.
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An independent judiciary has ruled that he cannot reapply for a riding license within the 14 months dated December 8, with 11 months issued for Covid violations and behavior damaging the reputation of the sport, plus 100 days for two positive tests for alcohol.
I like Murphy. He’s a good man. He’s a good man. And it’s great for sports.
He also has amazing talent.
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I also know that he had addiction problems. People with addiction problems are often not bad people.
Addiction distorts their personality and blurs what is right and wrong.
I think Murphy’s ban is harsh. And this is not forgiveness for what he did.
LET’S FORGIVE, HE NEEDS HELP
Anyone who has had a child knows that most kindergartens teach children that we as humans can make good and bad choices. Murphy made a lot of bad choices.
But addiction makes me more lenient than a bar of justice.
Murphy needs help. And once he has it, and once he – and I emphasize HE – believes that he is back on the right track, I see no reason why he cannot ride.
A suspension of six to nine months would be fine, followed by a lengthy probation.
Then the emphasis would be on understanding yourself.
Take a break. And then come back only if you really feel ready.
Because if the addiction still haunts you, don’t come back even if you’re allowed to.
BHA did not help Murphy’s well-being, although he will claim that Covid is to blame.
The failed alcohol test in Chester went undetected for too long.
When I was asked why, the representative told me, “This was all due to problems with the Category B sampling process. A number of problems have arisen in the laboratories, which have been exacerbated by the coronavirus. This was reviewed at the hearing by Oisin Murphy’s attorney, Rory McNace, who stated that the delays were not the fault of Mr. Murphy or the BHA and could not have been foreseen.”
Be that as it may, stress did not contribute to Murphy’s mental well-being.
This should never happen again. Testing needs to be done quickly, as is counteranalysis.
The BHA also said they would support Murphy. The spokesperson added: “We will discuss any support requirements with Oisin Murphy. For obvious reasons, we will treat any support or pastoral care as confidential information.”
Not so long ago in the races, Pat Addery got lost because of alcohol.
MURPHY KNOWS WHEN HE SHOULD BE BACK
Pat was one of the greatest racers I have ever seen.
I was so lucky that I met him and chatted with him with his cheeky smile.
There is also no doubt that the late Walter Swinburne did not benefit from drinking.
Murphy did the wrong thing. He’s lying. But under the influence of a substance that can turn into anyone.
The fact that he was kicked out for more than a year will not help either him or the sport.
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