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.
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 – 2021 can be seen below:
|398 (Figures up to end Nov 2019)
* denotes figures years affected by Covid restrictions
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.