Racing League star Shawn Levy has stepped down from his recent rides due to medical reasons | horse racing news

Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)

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Sean Levy: Understandably, the main rider failed a banned substance test

Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)

Written by Peter Scargill

Classic winning jockey Sean Levy has been suspended from his tour of Newcastle on Thursday night by the BHA for medical reasons.

Levy’s absence from Newcastle resulted in him missing out on a £20,000 bonus awarded to the leading rider during the Racing League, the final round of which took place on Thursday.

He had a 59-point lead over his nearest rival, Harrison Shaw, but Savvy Osborne’s stunning 6,539-1 triple on the night saw her outperform both to claim the title of lead racer.

Levy, 34, rode in Yarmouth on Tuesday and was due to take one mountain at Sandown on Wednesday before the BHA intervened, with the rider understood to have failed a banned substance test. He was also removed from his flights on Friday in Newbury.

BHA rules jockeys must not ride prohibited substances in their bodies, whether drugs or alcohol. If a passenger fails the breathalyzer test, they will be suspended on the day of the failed test.

The BHA declined to comment, stating that the matter was “confidential.”

Levy’s agent, Sach Rayton, said Thursday he had not been informed of the rider’s inability to ride, but added that he did not believe the rider had sustained any injury preventing him from competing.

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

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Sean Levy: Richard Hannon has given the rider the bulk of his rides this season

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

Former Flat Trainer Richard Hannon, Levy has provided the bulk of his rides this season, as the duo teamed up to achieve first-group success in the Prix Jean Romanet with Aristia last month. Asked on Thursday if he had been told of any reason not to ride the jockey, Hanoun said: “No. I have absolutely no idea.”

Levi’s lack of appearance comes a week after Marco Gianni, last year’s champion trainee, stepped down from the ride in Brighton on suspicion of failing a drug test. None of the riders were listed as being medically suspended on the BHA’s website.

The licenses of former riders who failed drug tests in Britain have been suspended for six months by the disciplinary committee. Oisin Murphy was suspended for three months at the end of 2020 for failing drug testing in France after it was said the positive result was the result of environmental contamination after a sexual encounter.

In May last year, new rapid saliva tests capable of detecting metabolites of banned substances were introduced in weight rooms. The tests are able to produce results within 15 minutes, with the jockeys interrupted and further laboratory testing done on the samples.


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First published at 3:00 PM, September 15, 2022