Robert Havlin fails in bid to overturn six-month drugs ban

Robert Havlin

Robert Havlin: tested positive at Saint-Cloud on October 30 last year

 PICTURE:Hugh Routledge 

 By Scott Burton 4:34PM 9 MAR 2017 

JOCKEY Robert Havlin has failed in his attempt to overturn a six-month suspension handed down by France Galop following a positive test for five banned substances returned at Saint-Cloud last October. 

Havlin appeared before the appeal panel in Paris on Tuesday, during which the 43-year-old presented evidence of his settled family life, one which his legal representitive claimed was completely at odds with the nature of the charges. 

The ban takes immediate effect and is the standard length for a first offence. France Galop will expect the BHA to reciprocate the suspension – which runs until September 21 – as is standard practice. 

It is understood that Havlin produced medical evidence which his counsel said contradicted the findings of the original sample from October 30. 

Notably, the report of the appeal hearing refers to his legal team’s rejection of the presence of morphine, as well as a sworn testimony given to a French court by a toxicology expert that Havlin could not have “actively consumed” cocaine during the period in question. 

Potential appeal

When the positive test and his ban first came to light, Havlin said in a statement he was “a victim of an outrageous miscarriage of justice and defamation of my character”. He added that he was confident his appeal would succeed.

A spokesman for the BHA said at the same time: “The BHA has been informed of the decision by France Galop to suspend Mr Havlin from riding in races for six months. Under the international agreement and the rules, this penalty will be reciprocated when it comes into effect.”

Havlin can, however, lodge an application for the penalty not to be reciprocated, an avenue the Professional Jockeys Association said they were strongly minded to take were the penalty to be upheld upon appeal.

 
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