Sean Levey seeks BHA investigation after ‘false positive’ drugs test leads to week-long ban from riding

Sean Levey seeks BHA investigation after ‘false positive’ drugs test leads to week-long ban from riding

Jockey Sean Levey will seek a “full investigation” after being stood down from riding for over a week following a “false positive” test for amphetamine.

Last Wednesday Levey was taken off an intended ride at Sandown after a random saliva sample tested positive for the banned substance.

According to a statement seen by Sky Sports Racing, Levey immediately requested a urine sample which was taken within 24 hours of the Sandown incident and took six days to come back as negative, meaning Levey is now clear to return to riding.

During his ban, Levey missed last week’s Racing League finale and a chance to win a £20,000 bonus as the competition’s top rider, which he had led since week one.

In Levey’s absence, Saffie Osborne rode a 6,500 treble to surpass Levey’s total and claim the prize.

Levey said: “Although I am happy to be back riding later this week, it’s hard not to feel aggrieved at what has happened to me the last few days.

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Sky Sports Racing’s Matt Chapman feels the BHA were wrong to stand Sean Levey down from riding, causing him to miss out on the Racing League finale, after subsequent tests cleared the jockey of any wrongdoing.

“Some might say I’ve been unlucky with the false positive happening just before the Racing League final, but I sincerely hope that there are lessons to be learned from this and that similar things don’t happen to jockeys in the future.

“I appreciate the support I’ve received from trainers, fellow jockeys and my sponsor SBK throughout the past week. I look forward to getting back in the saddle this weekend.”

Levey is booked for three rides at Haydock on Friday.

A BHA spokesperson said: “The BHA can confirm that Sean Levey is able to ride and will be making no further comment at this time as the matter remains confidential.”

Saffie Osborne holds aloft the Racing League champion jockeys trophy
Image:
Saffie Osborne beat Levey to top spot in the Racing League jockeys’ championship

Chapman: Levey ban is no way to run a sport

Sky Sports Racing’s Matt Chapman acted as the team manager for Levey’s London and The South during the Racing League.

He feels the BHA need to have a “rethink” into its processes for handing out suspensions for similar incidents.

Chapman said: “The authorities clearly need to take another look at this because we can’t have people being banned for no reason – especially when there’s big cash up for grabs. I’m absolutely gutted about it.

“In this instance, you’d have to question whether Levey should’ve been stood down straight away because subsequently it shows that he shouldn’t have been.

“This is clearly wrong and someone, somewhere is going to have to have a rethink. You can’t just ban people and then say you’re fine a few days later. That is no way to run a sport.”

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