Shawn Levy authorized the resumption of riding after a second test tested negative | horse racing news

Edward Whitaker

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Sean Levy: Hasn’t been riding since last Wednesday

Edward Whitaker

Sean Levy was approved to return to riding in Haydock on Friday, just over a week after he was suspended by the BHA for medical reasons.

The Classic award-winning rider, 34, has been unable to ride since failing a saliva test at Sandown last Wednesday. A subsequent sample taken from the rider last Thursday showed no signs of prohibited substances, allowing him to return to the saddle.

“I was informed today that Sean was allowed to ride, so he was booked to do so on Friday,” said Levy’s agent Sach Rayton, who was contacted by the Racing Post on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the association said:The BHA can confirm that Sean Levey is able to ride and will not make any further comment at this time as the matter remains confidential.”

As a result of a failed saliva test, Levi was unable to ride in Britain for eight days. The rider can return for two days before having to sit out of the race on Sunday and Monday due to the suspension resulting from his use of the whip at the St Leger meeting.

In addition to being banned from riding for more than a week, Levi was likely poised for a £20,000 bonus for being the leading rider during this year’s Racing League series, which ended last Thursday.

The rider was leading the standings by 59 points in the final round, but despite his lead, Levi was jumped on the final day by Safi Osborne, who took the prize thanks to an impressive 6539-1 hat-trick while her opponent was on the sidelines.

Levi enjoyed a great season in the saddle, topped by the first group with the success of Aristia in the Prix Jean Romanet last month.

As the knight fell Britain’s 58 winners collected £1,222,961 in prize money, with wins aboard the likes of Isaac Shelby in Group 2 Superlative Stakes and Shouldvebeenaring.

A rapid saliva test was introduced to the weight rooms last May, with results available within 15 minutes showing whether metabolites of banned substances are present in the rider’s system.

If the rider fails the test, he is stopped immediately while another sample is taken for more rigorous laboratory testing.

Paul Struthers, former chief executive of the Professional Riders Association, hailed the introduction of saliva tests as a “key piece of the jigsaw” in preventing riders from using drugs after a series of positive tests, and later a cocaine ban.

Speaking last May, Brant Dincia, the BHA’s chief regulatory officer, said: “This should act as a deterrent to those who might consider the use of prohibited substances and provide reassurance to those competing.”

Levi was initially stopped a week later by fellow jockey Marco Gianni and was also banned by the British Health Association from riding on medical grounds. There was no further update on the Gyani case.


Read this next:

Marco Gianni suspended ‘on interim basis’ amid reports of drug test failures


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First published at 3:24pm on Sep 20, 2022