Fallon says UK racing has drugs problem
Jockey Kieren Fallon has courted fresh controversy by saying there is a drugs problem within British horse racing.
Fallon added the issue of drug taking among the racing community was especially acute in British flat racing’s headquarters town of Newmarket, eastern England.
Fallon, 44, has six times been the champion flat jockey in Britain.
But the Irishman only returned to riding in September after serving an 18-month ban for a second failed drugs test.
In an interview with BBC’s television’s Inside Sport program due to be broadcast on Monday (Tuesday AEDT), Fallon said: "Newmarket has the highest rate (of drug use) for its population in any town in England
"I know there is (a drug problem in racing). I don’t know what can be done. I’ve done something and I’m all right."
Fallon served a six-month ban for testing positive for a metabolite of cocaine in 2006.
He said the stress of a race-fixing trial, which resulted in him being suspended from riding in Britain and ended with the judge at London’s Old Bailey saying there was no case to answer, led him to test positive for cocaine the following year in France.
"Obviously when things aren’t going well, my life was spiralling out of control," he said.
"We couldn’t see an end to it (the trial) … and you get to the stage you don’t really care anymore," added Fallon, whose suspension and drugs bans ruled him out of riding on British tracks for three years from 2006.
Fallon has enjoyed a brilliant career in the saddle, winning several English Classics.
In addition, he has twice won France’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – the blue riband of European flat racing.
But other incidents such as pulling fellow jockey Stuart Webster off his horse have tarnished his name.
And Fallon’s successful partnership with Newmarket-based Henry Cecil ended in 1999 after he was widely assumed to be the "other man" when the trainer’s then wife said she was having an affair with an unnamed jockey.
"There was no truth in the rumours at all," Fallon said.
"Nothing had ever come of it, but I think her saying these things – it didn’t look good for me."
Looking ahead, Fallon said he just wanted to be known for his riding alone.
"I know now that I have to be stronger if I am to get away from the circle of people that bring you down, and move on," he said.
"I don’t know how many years I have left but I’ll be working hard to do things right.
"Of course you’re ashamed of the things you’ve done wrong. It eats away at you. And it builds up inside you, and you feel embarrassed."