‘Deeply Embarrassed’: Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy Relinquishes His License To Focus On Rehabilitation

Crowned Britain’s Champion Jockey for a third straight year in October and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff aboard longshot Marche Lorraine in November, Oisin Murphy announced Thursday his decision to relinquish his racing license in order to focus on his rehabilitation, according to a statement released by the British Horseracing Authority. In 2021, a pair of racecourse incidents related to alcohol caused Murphy to be taken off his mounts for the day, and in 2020 a positive test for cocaine (blamed on a sex partner) saw the jockey handed a three-month ban.

“It became obvious to me and to everyone else that I needed to seek serious help,” Murphy’s statement reads. “In recognition of this I have relinquished my license and will now focus on my rehabilitation.

“Whether I deserve it or not, many kind people have stood by me and I really appreciate their support. I’m deeply embarrassed and regret my actions.”

The BHA’s statement also details a breach of coronavirus protocols in September of 2020, resulting in the following alleged charges:

  • Breaches of Rule (J)24.6 of the Rules of Racing for misleading or attempting to mislead the BHA regarding his true location between 9 and 12 September;
  • Breaches of Rules (J)24.4 and (J)24.6 for accessing the racecourse in breach of the COVID-19 Requirements;
  • Breaches of Rule (J)19 for acting in a manner prejudicial to the proper conduct and good reputation of horseracing.

A hearing in front of an independent Disciplinary Panel to consider these charges was arranged for Friday, Dec. 10, but prior to the hearing the BHA received submissions from Murphy’s legal team regarding his welfare, which were supported by medical evidence, and stated that Murphy had made a decision to relinquish his Flat Jockeys License whilst he engages fully with medical support.

Bearing these submissions in mind, it was agreed with Murphy’s representatives that the proposed hearing would be postponed to take place at a later date, when it is deemed appropriate considering the welfare of Murphy.

These matters will also be heard at the same time as two cases regarding positive tests for alcohol returned from racecourses in 2021 by Murphy, as follows:

  • Breach of Rule (K)55 due to the presence of alcohol in urine sample exceeding permitted threshold at Chester racecourse on May 5, 2021.
  • Breach of Rule (K)55 due to presence of alcohol in breath samples exceeding permitted threshold at Newmarket on Oct. 8, 2021.

Tim Naylor, BHA Director of Integrity and Regulation, said:

“In regulating the sport we must always strike the balance between the importance of upholding the rules, and being mindful of the wellbeing of those who we regulate. The welfare of our participants is an absolute priority.

“Having received detailed submissions from his representatives, which were supported by medical evidence, and being aware of the decision made by Mr Murphy to relinquish his jockeys license, we agreed that the proposed disciplinary hearing may be postponed for a short period of time.

“The charges will be considered in front of an independent Disciplinary Panel we anticipate in the early part of 2022. We will support his medical team in the meantime.”

Mr Murphy has asked that the following statement be relayed on his behalf:

“On returning from abroad last September in 2020 I failed to follow the Covid protocol set out by the BHA. In breaking these rules, and attempting to mislead the BHA, I’ve let my governing body down, along with trainers, owners, staff, sponsors and family for which I wish to apologize.

“In addition to this there have been two racecourse incidents linked to alcohol during 2021.  It became obvious to me and to everyone else that I needed to seek serious help. In recognition of this I have relinquished my license and will now focus on my rehabilitation. I am grateful to the BHA for agreeing to postpone the disciplinary hearing until I have been able to take these steps.

“Whether I deserve it or not, many kind people have stood by me and I really appreciate their support . I’m deeply embarrassed and regret my actions.”

The BHA and Murphy will not make any further comment on this matter, which remains an ongoing disciplinary process, until a hearing date is set.

The post ‘Deeply Embarrassed’: Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy Relinquishes His License To Focus On Rehabilitation appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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