Jockey Luke Dillon outed for 12 months after third offence
FORMER multi-premiership winning Rockhampton jockey Luke Dillon has been disqualified from racing for a year after his third drug-related breach of the rules.
On Saturday, September 6, just one day after his 25th birthday, Dillon was asked by stewards to provide a urine sample at the Emerald Jockey Club's race meeting.
Capricornia's chief steward Luke Collins said subsequent analytical tests revealed the presence of the banned substances namely methamphetamine and amphetamine.
At last Thursday's inquiry at Callaghan Park racecourse, Collins said Dillon pleaded guilty to the charge under racing rules 81A (1-a) in that he provided a urine sample found to contain the banned substances.
"Jockey Dillon was disqualified for a period of 12 months to commence on Thursday, October 23 and expire on October 23, 2015," Collins said.
This means that Dillon is banned from racecourses and racing stables throughout the world.
Collins said stewards had given consideration to Dillon's good conduct during the inquiry, his personal circumstances, his age and his involvement in the industry.
"Stewards did however have to consider that this was his third breach of this particular rule," Collins said.
In September 2010, Dillon was disqualified from racing for six months when he tested positive to methamphetamine after having ridden at Cluden Racecourse in Townsville.
On his latest charge, Collins told Dillon that his penalty of 12 months disqualification must be seen to serve as a deterrent.
"It must illustrate to the racing industry that there is no place in the sport for incidents (positive drug tests) such as this," Collins said.
In May last year, Dillon was stood down briefly from riding after an initial test results from a portable drug testing device at Callaghan Park track work provided an on-the-spot positive reading.
"However when that urine sample was tested analytically the laboratory determined the samples of a substance (not made public by stewards) had come back under the threshold level.
"Accordingly under the integrity protocol Dillon was immediately cleared to resume riding and no charges were initiated', Collins said.
In reaching their latest findings, Collins ordered that should Dillon undertake rehabilitation/counselling, the final two months of his penalty could be served as a suspension.
This would allow Dillon the opportunity to ride track work and in barrier trials to prepare for resuming his successful race riding career.
Similarly, Dillon was given the same opportunity when he was previously banned for six months in 2010.
Dillon is one of Rockhampton racing's most popular jockeys.
Last season he rode 46 winners throughout Queensland.
His talented riding career is now at rock bottom.
But Luke has a strong support base which is keen to see the young father of an infant son eventually back on track winning at Callaghan Park.