Racing: Six months ban for jockey over cocaine use

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The Independent Online

Robert Miles, one of last year's better apprentices, was banned yesterday for six months by the Jockey Club at an enquiry into a positive test for cocaine returned at Salisbury in September.

The 23-year-old is currently out of racing - he lost his job with the Epsom trainer Terry Mills after the findings of the routine drugs test were made public - but the disciplinary committee has ordered that he should not be issued with a further licence before 27 July, and then only subject to a satisfactory medical report from the Jockey Club doctor.

Miles, who rode 35 winners last year, including the Chester Vase on Red Lancer, is keen to get his career back on track. "I am pleased the hearing is over and I understand what a serious offence this is," he said. "I would like to issue a public apology, in particular to my former trainer, Terry Mills, and also to the other yards that have supported me."

Miles is the fourth rider to have tested positive for the drug since testing was introduced in October 1994. The highest-profile offender has been Dean Gallagher, who served an 18-month suspension from November 2002 for a second offence, the first having been in France. The others were another apprentice, Philip Shea, and Francis Norton.