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Doyle to Serve 30-Day Suspension After Positive Test

Hollie Doyle has been given a one-month suspension after testing positive for a banned substance at Newcastle March 31.

A disciplinary panel accepted the breach was “unintended” and was a “one-off error” resulting from Doyle mistranslating the ingredients of over-the-counter painkillers to treat an elbow injury.

Doyle is free to continue riding but would be subject to the sanction being imposed were she to fail a test in the next year.

The Pabron Ace Pro tablets, which Doyle believed contained only ibuprofen and paracetamol, were purchased in Japan while she was riding on a short-term license in the country at the end of last year. After returning to action, Doyle continued to take the painkillers, which also contained the banned substance dihdyrocodeine, and attempted to use an app to translate the packaging.

At the end of a fast-track hearing, the judicial panel chair, Sarah Crowther KC, concluded: “I agree with the (British Horseracing Authority) that in light of the investigative findings, it is appropriate to reduce the penalty from the entry point of two months withdrawal of license to a one-month suspension.”

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Doyle, 26, was initially prescribed dihdyrocodeine following surgery on her injured elbow in February, but discontinued the course after complaining of feeling unwell.

The jockey released a statement which said: “In April, when returning to ride after my elbow injury, Dr. Jerry Hill informed me that I had tested positive for traces of dihydrocodeine, which is a painkiller used to treat severe pain.

“I required elbow surgery in February and was prescribed dihydrocodeine, which I stopped consuming a few days after my operation as it made me feel unwell. In April I tested positive on my return to ride, and I stated that I had only been taking ibuprofen and paracetamol throughout my recovery to control some swelling.

“After some research we found that contamination came from a packet of ibuprofen, which I had purchased when riding overseas and unknowingly contained small amounts of dihydrocodeine. The BHA accepts that this was the likely source of the positive.

“The BHA also accepts that the breach was innocent and unintended, but due to it being a strict liability case they found it appropriate to impose a one-month suspended suspension.

“I’m extremely grateful to my family, friends and employers for the support and advice over the last five months. We’re all very glad it’s over.”

Dihydrocodeine—or DCH—is used in various combinations for both painkillers and cough medicine, and is available over the counter in Japan.

Doyle was one of a number of overseas jockeys granted short-term licenses to compete on the Japan Racing Association circuit last autumn. She rode from Oct. 29-Dec. 25 and had two wins from 107 starts.

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