Marijuana also proves costly for Qatar as failed tests cost country its Olympic berth.
An Australian jockey has been banned from racing for four years after failing his sixth random cannabis test in the past 10 years.
An inquiry was opened after Mark Elliott failed his latest test following a race in Townsville, Queensland on Jan. 25. The rider pleaded guilty after his urine was found to contain 11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabainol-9-carboxylic acid, a metabolite of cannabis, according to Yahoo! Sport.
Racing stewards, who enforce the rules of racing in their home jurisdiction and opened the investigation, reported that they took into account Elliott’s honesty and his guilty plea when assessing punishment. They weighed that against the risk that riding under the influence can place on his horse and surrounding riders.
His five previous infractions for using the same substance also factored heavily into the decision.
Elliott, whose suspension will expire on Feb. 26, 2024, must pass another urine test before being permitted to reapply for his licence.
Cannabis use has also cost Qatar’s equestrian team its spot in the Tokyo Olympics after two of its riders — one a sheikh — tested positive for cannabis last year.
Sheikh Ali Al Thani and Bassem Mohammed were at a qualifying event in Morocco in October when they failed the tests, according to the International Equestrian Federation (FEI). Cannabis is prohibited under the governing body’s regulations, but there is some flexibility when it comes to the drug.
FEI has said cannabis is “more likely to have been consumed by an athlete for a purpose other than the enhancement of sport performance,” reported the Associated Press. “Positive cases involving ‘specified substances’ can be handled with a greater degree of flexibility within the structure of the FEI Regulations.”
The FEI announced that Morocco will take Qatar’s berth in the team jumping competition at the Tokyo Games.
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Written by David Yasvinski