Kennedy cops 18-month ban for positive drug test

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Jockey Ben Kennedy copped an 18-month suspension today after testing positive to banned substances amphetamine and methamphetamine at Mt Barker’s Grapes and Gallops meeting on January 22.

Last Friday, Kennedy pleaded guilty to a charge of providing a positive urine sample that contained the banned substances in an inquiry conducted by Racing and Wagering WA stewards.

Stewards adjourned the inquiry to consider the matter before finalising their deliberations today in regards to the penalty.

Kennedy’s jockey license has been suspended in full for 18 months, backdated to February 14 when he was initially stood down.

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Stewards took into account when coming to the penalty, the seriousness of the offence, Kennedy’s prior offence under the same rule in 2011 when he copped a nine month ban, the nature of the substances, his guilty plea and personal circumstances.

Stewards however laid down strict guidelines for Kennedy to regain his riding license.

He was advised that if he can comply with counselling and rehabilitation requirements and clear urine samples as ordered by the stewards, consideration will be given to him obtaining a stable employee license after a minimum of 12 months of this penalty being served.

Following that Kennedy can apply for a track riders license after a further three months and if he satisfies stewards by fulfilling all of those conditions he may apply to ride in trials which shall be for a minimum three month period and continuing to meet his re-licensing conditions, consideration will then be given to him resuming as a jockey.

All of this must be done while providing clean urine samples on a frequent and random basis as ordered by the stewards and get satisfactory reports from his employer and counsellor.

Kennedy’s sample was one of several random urine samples taken from the jockeys riding at the Mt Barker meeting featuring the $100,000 Mungrup Stud Sprint.

Kennedy rode in the rich sprint race that day, aboard the Roy Rogers-trained Potent Secret which ran fifth.

The 24-year-old has been a regular rider here in the Great Southern over the past two seasons.

He had chalked up five wins in the Great Southern this season.

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