News flashes: Oisin Murphy relinquishes licence, Jorge Navarro jailed for five years and more …

A weekly round-up of international horse racing snippets

Horse Racing Oisin Murphy jockey
Oisin Murphy: facing charges for alleged COVID-19 and alcohol breaches. Photo: Megan Ridgwell

GB Oisin Murphy relinquishes licence over new rule breaches

Champion jockey Oisin Murphy has relinquished his licence after it emerged he faced three charges connected to breaches of COVID-19 and had twice failed breath tests during 2021.

Murphy admitted in a statement that he had failed to follow the correct protocols when returning from a trip abroad and then attempted to mislead regulators about his true whereabouts.

The BHA has agreed to a postponement of a disciplinary hearing while the jockey receives medical treatment for his issues.

Murphy, who returned from a three-month cocaine ban in March, is at risk of a substantial suspension after it was revealed that in addition to failing an alcohol breath test at Newmarket in October, he had also failed one in May at Chester.

• Read the joint BHA/Oisin Murphy statement

USA Jorge Navarro jailed for five years

Jorge Navarro was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $26 million in restitution for his leading role in a widespread doping operation involving trainers, vets and drug distributors at tracks across the USA as well as in the UAE.

The one-time leading trainer, known as the ‘Juice Man’, wept in court in New York where he was described as “someone who treated his animals as expendable commodities in the service of his ‘sport’.”

Jorge Navarro kept a pair of customised shoes in his barn bearing his nickname ‘Juice Man’. Photo: US Department of Justice

US Attorney Damian Williams said: “Jorge Navarro’s case reflects failings, greed, and corruption at virtually every level of the world of professional horse racing. For money and fame, corrupt trainers went to increasing extremes to dope horses under their care.”

• Read more at the Thoroughbred Daily News

GB Johnston and Johnston announce partnership

Mark Johnston, Britain’s winningmost trainer with more than 4,800 victories, is to take out a joint licence with son Charlie from January 1 as part of a succession plan.

• Visit the Racing Post

Hong Kong Silvestre de Sousa staying at home

Silvestre de Sousa has withdrawn his application to join the jockeys’ roster due to uncertainty over COVID-19 travel and quarantine restrictions. De Sousa had been granted a licence to ride from February until the end of the season.

.• Visit the Hong Kong Jockey Club

GB Tom Dascombe sacked by Michael Owen

Tom Dascombe is leaving his post as trainer at the yard owned by former top footballer Michael Owen and Betfair co-founder Andrew Black after 12 years. Dascombe’s biggest successes came with the Owen-owned and bred Brown Panther, who won the Irish St Leger, Goodwood Cup and Dubai Gold Cup.

.• Read more at the Racing Post

Hong Kong David Ferraris quits

Trainer David Ferraris has entered his final week as a trainer in Hong Kong after announcing he is quitting after nearly two decades in the Far East. The South African has trained 460 winners and is best known for the multiple G1 winner Vengeance Of Rain.

.• Read more at the South China Morning Post

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