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Jockey Graham Gibbons receives lengthy ban

Image: Jockey Graham Gibbons

Jockey Graham Gibbons has been banned for a combined period of two and a half years by the disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority after testing positive for a metabolite of cocaine at a meeting at which he attempted to swap urine

Gibbons had voluntarily not ridden since December last year, when he was alleged to have swapped a urine sample with that of another rider, Callum Shepherd, who faced no charges, at a fixture at Kempton.

Gibbons was charged with a breach of rule (D)65 "by virtue of the fact that a urine sample taken from him on December 7, 2016 at Kempton racecourse tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine and, pursuant to rule (D)58 and schedule (D)3 Part 1, a banned substance".

He was also charged with breaking rule (A)30.1 in "acting in a manner prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and/or good reputation of horseracing in Great Britain by his actions on December 7, 2016 when he attempted to present another jockey's urine as his own when required to submit a sample for testing purposes."

The breach of the latter rule was deemed to carry a two-year suspension, with the positive test leading to a six-month penalty. The bans run concurrently, from June 9, 2017 until June 8, 2019.

The BHA tweeted: "Graham Gibbons, found in breach of Rule (D)65, received 6 months suspension from 9 Dec 2016 to 8 June 2017 inclusive. Gibbons also found in breach of Rule (A)30 and receives a two year suspension from 9 June 2017 until 8 June 2019 inclusive.

"The Disciplinary Panel's reasons for their decision will follow in due course."

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Among the career highlights for Gibbons have been winning the Gimcrack Stakes at York aboard the William Haggas-trained Ajaya, while he enjoyed a terrific association with John Quinn's Blythe Knight, twice landing the Diomed Stakes at Epsom and also being victorious in the Lincoln at Doncaster.

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