Newmarket jockey suffers further setback in overcoming drug ban

Robert Havlin in action in the bet365 Mile Handicap on Von Blucher, July 2016.
Robert Havlin in action in the bet365 Mile Handicap on Von Blucher, July 2016.

Newmarket's Robert Havlin has vowed to fight 'to his last penny', despite failing in his application for an emergency injunction against his six-month ban.

The 43-year-old jockey, who has been employed by racehorse trainer John Gosden for 17 years, saw his appeal at the civil tribunal rejected this week.

Robert Havlin

Robert Havlin

Havlin has always maintained his innocence and had requested the ban be suspended pending further investigation on grounds of the grave impact it has had on his earnings and reputation.

He has repeatedly argued that there had been errors made in the taking of the sample and that the length of the ban was excessive for his blemish-free record.

But his appeal was rejected, with France Galop lawyers pointing out that the disciplinary ban was standard in such cases.

Speaking to the Racing Post, Havlin said: “I’m disappointed but not shocked. But I’ve got the bit between my teeth and I’m determined to prove them wrong.

“Now I’m talking to my lawyers to mount something with the BHA (British Horseracing Authority). It’s going to cost a lot of money but I’m not going to lie back and take it.

"I’ll fight this with every last penny I’ve got.

“I wouldn’t like to put a figure on it, but it’s already cost me a hell of a lot, which is especially hard as I’m not earning at the moment.

"But everyone is behind me, my wife and kids are behind me, and I’ll fight on. The facts are there. It’s just so unfair.”

France Galop stewards imposed a six-month suspension from January 26 after the Newmarket jockey tested positive for banned substances when riding at Saint-Cloud on October 30 last year.

His initial ban was for six months. But his punishment for appealing the ban has seen him struck off for a further two months and 10 days, meaning the jockey is not eligible again until October 2017.