Result of an enquiry (Danny Cook) heard by the Disciplinary Panel on Thursday 19 March

19 Mar 2015 Disciplinary Panel - Integrity Issues

The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) held an enquiry on Thursday 19 March 2015 to consider whether or not Danny Cook, a licensed jockey, had committed a breach of Rule (D)65 of the Rules of Racing in that a urine sample taken from him on 1 February 2015 at Musselburgh racecourse tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, and therefore, pursuant to Rule (D)58, a Banned Substance.

Cook, who was in attendance, was represented by Rory Mac Neice.

The Panel heard submissions from Mr Mac Neice that Cook accepted there was no mitigation up to the notification dated 18 February 2015 that he had tested positive for cocaine on 1 February 2015, but that thereafter he accepted the positive test result, informed the Professional Jockeys Association and expressed a wish not to oppose any interim suspension.

Mr Mac Neice explained that Cook had admitted the breach from an early stage, and by his co-operation had saved the BHA time and money, and as a result should receive some reduction in penalty.

The BHA submitted that in line with the Guide to Procedures and Penalties no reduction in penalty was appropriate in the circumstances of a finding of cocaine.

The Panel considered that the six month suspension should not be reduced notwithstanding Cook’s co-operation post notification of the positive test, because the Panel considered that as an experienced jockey, taking a substance, which later proved to be an illegal Class A drug, the night before he was booked to take six rides, which he then rode, was a serious matter.

Taking this into account the Panel suspended Cook from riding for six months from Wednesday 25 February 2015 to Monday 24 August 2015 inclusive.


Notes to editors:

1. The Panel for the enquiry was: Philip Curl (Chair), Celina Carter, Ian Stark.