Gibbons Suspended for 2 1/2 Years

By Heather Anderson

Jockey Graham Gibbons has been banned for a combined period of 2 1/2 years by the disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) after testing positive for a metabolite of cocaine at a meeting at which he attempted to swap urine samples. 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 Dec. 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 Dec. 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.”

Among the career highlights for Gibbons have been winning the G2 Gimcrack S. at York aboard the William Haggas-trained Ajaya (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), while he enjoyed a terrific association with John Quinn’s Blythe Knight (Ire) (Selkirk), twice landing the G3 Diomed S. at Epsom and also being victorious in the Lincoln at Doncaster.

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