Rodriguez licence suspended after ‘positive cocaine test’

Callum Rodriguez has had his licence suspended after failing a drugs test

Ebor-winning rider Callum Rodriguez has apologised for making a “serious mistake” after failing a drugs test at Southwell last month.

Rodriguez’s licence has been suspended by the British Horseracing Authority, and he faces the likelihood of a lengthy ban, after he was informed he had returned a positive result at the Nottinghamshire venue on February 27.

The rider, who is based with Durham trainer Michael Dods, has apologised in a statement issued on his behalf by the Professional Jockeys Association.

Dods has also added his own statement, in which he cites reports of a “positive cocaine test” and spells out the stable’s “strict no-tolerance policy to drug taking”, but leaves the opportunity open for the jockey to “prove to everyone that he deserves another chance”.

Rodriguez said: “Following my recent serious mistake, I would like to sincerely apologise to all the owners and trainers I have ridden for, in particular Mr Dods and everyone at Denton Hall, as well as my fellow jockeys in the weighing room.

“My one-off action was completely out of character and one that I deeply regret.

“My plan is to continue riding work for Michael Dods and other connections while I am away from race riding.”

The BHA’s head of media Robin Mounsey confirmed the jockey’s current ban.

“Callum Rodriguez’s licence has been suspended while an investigation takes place,” he said.

Dods posted his reaction on his own social media accounts.

It reads: “This statement follows the breaking news this morning that Callum Rodriguez, one of our regular jockeys, has been suspended following a positive cocaine test.

“We are extremely disappointed with Callum. As a yard, we operate a strict no-tolerance policy to drug taking, and each and every one of our staff are well aware of their responsibilities.

“Through his actions, Callum has not only let himself down, he has also let down every member of our team, as well as owners and other trainers.

“We are fully supportive of the BHA’s disciplinary process, and Callum will abide by whatever sanctions are eventually imposed.”

Dods notes the jockey’s regret, and has indicated a readiness to try to help him through difficult times.

In his statement, he added: “Callum is deeply remorseful for his actions and insists this was a one-off mistake.

“As his employer, we intend to work with him to help him atone for his error, along with the Professional Jockeys Association.

“Callum will now have some time in which to reflect on what he has done. He now has to work hard and prove to everyone that he deserves another chance.”

Rodriguez enjoyed the highlight of his career so far when partnering the Iain Jardine-trained Nakeeta to win the 2017 Ebor at York.

He has 12 winners already this year, but has not ridden since finishing down the field in a Wolverhampton handicap on March 5.