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Regular Breath Tests For Vic Jockeys

Friday, 18th December 2009

Victorian chief steward Terry Bailey warned "the party is over for any jockeys who want to imbibe at the Warrnambool carnival next week," reported The Herald-Sun. Bailey announced all jockeys & trackwork riders would be subjected to random breath tests at the 3-day carnival (which starts on Tuesday) & emphasised "if any jockey recorded a blood alcohol reading of more than .02 while at the track, they would be stood down from all rides & charged"; if found guilty, the jockey would be stood down immediately & face a suspension. In a first for Victoria, stewards breath tested 16 jockeys at Sandown on Wednesday & while none recorded a blood-alcohol reading, Bailey noted: "This will become a regular occurrence. We have let jockeys know we will be testing them. Later on though, we will start testing at random, but early on we thought we would give them warning." Victorian Jockeys' Association chief executive Des O'Keeffe welcomed the move & said it was "obvious jockeys should not be riding while affected by alcohol", adding: "It's a non-event for us. Studies show it is the 2nd most dangerous job a person can do, so we don't want them riding while affected with alcohol." Bailey explained the permissible blood alcohol measure was .02 instead of zero "to give some leeway with the uncertainty of measurement". (May 1)

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