Racing: Dettori accepts BBC apology on diuretics

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FRANKIE DETTORI has accepted a full apology from the BBC over a press release issued before his appearance on the Newsnight programme on 23 September. The press release had suggested that Dettori had taken diuretics prohibited by the Jockey Club.

The terms of the settlement between the jockey and the BBC are confidential but Dettori's solicitor, Nigel Calvert, said that the Italian was "extremely happy" with the terms.

A statement from Calvert said: "The BBC recognises that its press release may have given a false impression that Mr Dettori had taken diuretics prohibited by the Jockey Club. The BBC now accept that Frankie Dettori made no such admission and it was incorrect to suggest otherwise.

The Newsnight programme covered the use of recently banned diuretic "pee pills" by jockeys and included an interview with Dettori, in which he admitted to taking diuretics earlier in his career. The press release bore the headline: "Dettori tells Newsnight: I took drugs," and carried a selective quote from Dettori that "I try not to", when asked if he still took diuretics.

Abyaan heads a list of 21 entries confirmed yesterday for the November Handicap at Doncaster on Saturday. Following the withdrawal of the top- weights The Glow-Worm and Mowbray, John Gosden's filly, due to be ridden by Kevin Darley, will shoulder 9st 10lb in the pounds 30,000 contest with the weights set to rise 8lb.

Mark Johnston, who won the race last year with Yavana's Pace, has Murghem, Alberich, Akbar and Robin Lane entered this time and all four are on course for Saturday's feature. Johnston's wife Deirdre said: "Alberich would prefer faster ground, but as it's the last big race of the season he might as well take his chance."

NOVEMBER HANDICAP (Doncaster, Saturday): William Hill: 7-1 Minivet, Murghem, Seren Hill, 8-1 Abyaan, Lord Lamb, 10-1 Flossy, 12-1 Akbar, Alberich, Carlys Quest, Star Precision, 14-1 others. Ladbrokes: 6-1 Murghem, Seren Hill, 7-1 Abyaan, 9-1 Lord Lamb, Minivet, 10-1 Carlys Quest, 11-1 Star Precision, 12-1 Akbar, Alberich, 14-1 others.

Tote: 11-2 Seren Hill, 8-1 Abyaan, Murghem, 9-1 Minivet, 10-1 Flossy, 12-1 Akbar, Alberich, Lord Lamb, Robin Lane, 14-1 others.