NEWBURY, England — The champion jockey of British horse racing has tested positive for cocaine.
Oisin Murphy returned a positive test for metabolites of the drug in a test undertaken in France on July 19, a statement from the Professional Jockeys Association read on Thursday.
He denied ever taking cocaine.
Murphy, a 25-year-old rider from Ireland, was informed in August of his positive result and subsequently arranged for a hair sample test at an independent laboratory, which returned a negative result, the PJA said.
He has shared those results with France Galop and is awaiting the result of its analysis of his B sample.
“I have never taken cocaine in my life and I will do everything that I can to prove that I have not taken cocaine,” Murphy said.
“I want to thank those who are supporting me and in the meantime I want to keep riding winners and focus on my career.”
Murphy, who rides for Qatar Racing, became champion jockey in Britain for the first time in 2019. He is leading this year’s championship, too, with 111 winners as of Thursday — 13 ahead of William Buick in second place.
Murphy won his first British “classic” aboard Kameko in the 2000 Guineas in June.