Jockeys are subject to drug and alcohol testing coordinated by the BHA.

The Jockey testing strategy is primarily focussed on testing for any substance which is performance impairing (e.g. alcohol, cocaine, cannabis) in order to provide a safe environment for competition.

Riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol not only poses a serious risk to themselves, but also to other Jockeys in the race and their horses.Testing on racedays takes place across the country and could be on any day. On breath testing days any Jockeys returning positive sample, above the threshold, will be stood down.

On urine testing days, Jockeys are chosen by random ballot or specific selection reasons and the urine is tested for substances listed under the rules as not permitted.Jockeys may be subject to enhanced testing if they have been previously penalised by a Recognised Racing Authority or convicted by a criminal court for an offence relating to drugs.

A full list of Banned and Notifiable Medications can be found here
The Testing Code can be found here
Penalties and thresholds for positive tests

Drug testing of jockeys

The emphasis is on testing jockeys for any product that is performance impairing.

Testing days are split between breathalyser and urine testing. Anyone failing a breathylser test  twice will be stood down from riding for the day. Further disciplinary action will depend on the levels of alcohol found. On urine testing days, up to 12 riders are chosen by ballot and the urine is tested for performance impairing drugs as mentioned above. 

The BHA’s Jockey testing statistics from 2012 – 2023 can be seen below:

Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 *2020 *2021 2022 2023
Breath 1260 1170 1267 1016 2080 1935 1894 2196 452 18 1952 3659
Urine  456 494 533 295 444 431 521 **398 547 631 847 1480
Hair 3 9 8 23
Oral fluid 933 331 137

* denotes figures years affected by Covid restrictions
** figures up to end Nov 2019

Participant contact and helplines

Drug or alcohol misuse also carries the serious risk of life-changing addiction. Possession of drugs can be subject to criminal prosecution. If you are worried about your alcohol or drug use, or have concerns about somebody else; it is important to seek help as soon as possible, the helplines listed below.

Racing Welfare:

Information and support
t. 0800 6300 443


Confidential Reporting Line
t. 0800 0852 580

Professional Jockeys Association

Information and support
t. 0844 800 6873

BHA Medical Department

Information and support
t. 020 7152 0000