LEADING UK jockey Robert Havlin, a member of last year’s International Team to South Africa, said he is “deeply upset and shocked” by a six-months suspension handed down by France-Galop after he tested positive for prohibited substances following a meeting at Saint Cloud on 30 October 2016.

Havlin will be lodging an appeal and said that he fully expects to clear his name following what he described as an “outrageous miscarriage of justice”.  He commented: “I am the victim of defamation of my character. I have never tested positive for any prohibited substance in my 26-year riding career.”

France-Glop issued a statement in which it confirmed the presence of two prohibited substances classified as narcotics including morphine and three prohibited substances classified as psychotropic.

It said: “Given the positive result to a narcotic and its metabolites present in the biological sample of the jockey, this is a serious breach of the rules of racing of France Galop, whose objective is to preserve the health and safety of all riders participating in a race, including their own.”

Havlin thanked the John Gosden stable for supporting him and concluded: “I am appealing this verdict and suspension on a number of grounds and the counter analysis proves my innocence.”