National Hunt jockey Joe Colliver has been banned six months by the British Horseracing Authority after testing positive for a metabolite of cocaine when riding at Wetherby on Feb. 23. Colliver admitted to taking cocaine the weekend before that meeting. Colliver's urine sample was found to contain benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, in a quantity of 1,650ng/ml. The permitted level is 150ng/ml. Colliver's interim suspension began on Mar. 4, so his six-month suspension will be backdated and will expire on Sept. 3.
Solicitor Rory Mac Niece, representing Colliver, said, “Mr. Colliver has asked me to convey in clear terms how very sorry he is that this has happened. He is very keen to publicly apologise to owners and trainers who have supported him throughout his career, but also to the stable staff. He has instructed me that their support has always meant a huge amount to him and continues to do so.”
BHA Panel Chairman James O'Mahoney said, “Racing for jockeys is a hard and tough profession, we are aware of that, but there is a real purpose in the severity of the penalty for people taking cocaine in racing and putting others and horses at risk.”