The Stewards yesterday concluded their inquiry into the analyst’s report on the urine sample supplied by Apprentice M F Poon at the Sha Tin racemeeting conducted on Monday, 17 April 2017. Evidence was taken from Apprentice Poon, Mr D J Hall, allocated trainer of Apprentice Poon, Dr T S M Wan, Head of Racing Laboratory, and Ms Amy Chan, Executive Manager, Racing Development Board.
It was reported on 24 April 2017 that the sample supplied by Apprentice Poon showed the presence of nordazepam, oxazepam and temazepam, all of which fall under the category of benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are prohibited substances as provided for in Instruction 44 of the Rules of Racing. After having been informed of the analyst’s finding, Apprentice Poon advised that he did not wish to have the reserve portion of the sample analysed by an independent laboratory.
Apprentice Poon pleaded guilty to a charge of having breached Hong Kong Jockey Club Rule of Racing 60(1) in that he did supply a sample at the Sha Tin racemeeting on Monday, 17 April 2017 which upon analysis showed to contain the prohibited substances nordazepam, oxazepam and temazepam as provided for in Instruction 44 of the Rules of Racing. The Stewards decided in the circumstances of this case that the appropriate penalty was for Apprentice Poon’s licence to ride in races to be suspended for one racemeeting with that racemeeting being the Sha Tin meeting scheduled on Sunday, 4 June 2017. Accordingly, Apprentice Poon is eligible to resume race riding on Monday, 5 June 2017.
In assessing penalty, the Stewards took into consideration the following mitigating factors:-
- That the presence of nordazepam, oxazepam and temazepam in the sample provided by Apprentice Poon was entirely consistent with the use of prescribed medication for a medical condition rather than any abuse of the substances.
- That Apprentice Poon is a relatively inexperienced rider who has not previously breached the prohibited substance rules.
The Stewards also found that the existing education and advice provided by the Racing Development Board to apprentice Poon and other apprentice jockeys, both prior and subsequent to undertaking overseas training, could be improved upon so as to prevent breaches of the prohibited substances (jockey) Rules. The Racing Development Board has informed the Stewards of further measures it will now put in place so as to provide the Club’s young riders with appropriate guidance and support in respect of their obligations and requirements under the Rules, in particular when seeking medical treatment.