Michelle Payne tests positive for banned substance

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    Michelle Payne was the story of the Spring Carnival, winning 2015's Melbourne Cup. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

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    Champion jockey Michelle Payne has tested positive to the banned substance Phentermine, an appetite suppressor, after riding at Swan Hill two weeks ago.

    The 31-year-old will face an enquiry later today.

    Only last week Michelle rode at Royal Ascot for the first time, where she finished fifth in a 16-strong field, and is due to return to the world famous racetrack in August.

    Michelle became world famous herself as the first woman jockey to win the Melbourne Cup in its 155-year history.

    Her brilliant ride on 100-1 outsider Prince pf Penzance greeted the judge to thunderous applause.

    But Michelle had a further coup up her sleeve at the presentation when she thanked the owners for having faith in her in a chauvinistic sport, and added – “Everyone else can get stuffed for thinking women aren’t good enough”.

    The gutsy comment drew even more thunderous applause, both at home in Australia and all around the world. For a sport which has been dominated by men, her win was celebrated by many.

    Not long afterwards, Michelle had an horrific fall that literally split her pancreas in two.

    During the long rehab, her GP prescribed Phentermine to assist her recovery.

    But it was Michelle’s responsibility to check its legality, and that she failed to do.

    It will be interesting to see how the stewards treat Michelle Payne today.

    Will the chauvinistic element surface to stuff Michelle Payne with more than the month Hugh Bowman copped for exactly the same offence?

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn't get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world's great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • June 29th 2017 @ 9:43am
      James Mathers said | June 29th 2017 @ 9:43am | ! Report

      It’s a shame the headline didn’t read Michelle Payne tests positive for taking appetite suppressant. Surely that would have been somewhat fairer.

      It’s not clear to me why an appetite suppressant would be a banned substance however I’m not wanting to debate that today.

      Perhaps what should be drawn to the attention of the racing public is the perilous nature of this incredibly dangerous occupation. Another jockey was killed this week and I expect many others have been seriously injured over the past few days.

      It’s a tough gig one that is littered with hundreds of battlers, people who struggle with many facets of their lives.

      We often talk about the faux pas of our jockeys but rarely about their real lives.

    • June 29th 2017 @ 12:56pm
      DLKN said | June 29th 2017 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

      She pleaded guilty. That makes here a drug cheat. Just like Damian Oliver and Hugh Bowman. You’ve just got to love the purity of the racing game.

      • June 29th 2017 @ 2:34pm
        northerner said | June 29th 2017 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

        All three failed their drug tests, yes. I tend to regard the jockey taking banned substances a little less seriously than the horse doing so, though.

        • June 29th 2017 @ 4:43pm
          DLKN said | June 29th 2017 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

          I’m pretty sure that the horse doesn’t make a conscious decision to take the banned substance.

          • June 29th 2017 @ 8:36pm
            northerner said | June 29th 2017 @ 8:36pm | ! Report

            But it’s the horse that matters, when it comes down to it. The jockey isn’t the one running the distance.

            Look, she’s been caught out and deserves the penalty, I have no issues with that. But I personally see a big difference between jockeys taking these kinds of drugs to keep their weight down, and cyclists (or horses) taking performance enhancing drugs to improve stamina or speed.

    • June 29th 2017 @ 1:05pm
      Chas said | June 29th 2017 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

      I see Michelle has been banned for 4 weeks backdated to 23 June. She has also taken full responsibility for her actions and apologised. Her reputation intact in our house, in fact enhanced.

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