PJA Denies De La Sayette Used Cocaine After Video Surfaces

Benoit de la Sayette after winning a pony race at ParisLongchamp in 2018 | Scoop Dyga

The Professional Jockeys Association has claimed that star apprentice Benoit de la Sayette “did not and does not take cocaine” after a video surfaced on Twitter on Tuesday showing the 18-year-old in the presence of the drug. The eight-second video-posted from an account made to look as if it belonged to de la Sayette-showed the jockey's face before switching to two unidentified individuals in a toilet cubicle dividing up white powder with a bank card.

A caption on the video made it appear as if it had been posted on Saturday, after de la Sayette posted his most important victory to date aboard Haqeeqy (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) in the Lincoln H. The video has allegedly been found to have been recorded in Lambourn in October 2019, when de la Sayette was 16 and not yet a licensed jockey.

The PJA's statement read: “A film has been tweeted from an account purporting to be Benoit de la Sayette's. The film was apparently first circulated in the aftermath of Benoit's victory aboard Haqeeqy in the Unibet Lincoln at Doncaster on Saturday. For the avoidance of doubt, this account is not Benoit's nor is it under his control. This carefully edited film maliciously suggests that Benoit was taking cocaine after winning the aforementioned race.

“Benoit lives with his parents and was driven to and from Doncaster on Saturday by his father along with another jockey, and spent the evening at home with his parents. He was also riding at Doncaster on Sunday and once again driven there and back by his father.

“The film is actually from October 2019, when he was 16, nine months prior to Benoit being licensed. He was at a party in Lambourn and filmed being in the presence of cocaine that others, not him, were taking. He did not and does not take cocaine. Whoever is responsible for the distribution of this film is clearly intent on trying to cause significant damage to a young man at the start of his career. The PJA is taking steps to try and have the account that posted the video removed.”

Benoit de la Sayette was riding in his first turf race in the Lincoln and is the first rider to be apprenticed to John Gosden in 29 years.

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