Michelle Payne suspended for 4 weeks after taking banned substance

UPDATE @ 12.15pm: Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne has been suspended for four weeks after pleading guilty to taking a banned substance.

The 31-year-old faced a Racing Victoria inquiry in Melbourne on Thursday, where the decision was handed down.

It’s understood the high profile jockey was prescribed the banned substance, believed to be an appetite suppressant called Phentermine, by her doctor following a serious fall last year.


Payne tested positive after giving a urine sample at the Swan Hill Cup meeting on June 11.

EARLIER @ 6.20am: Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne will front a Racing Victoria inquiry after returning a positive test to an appetite suppressant.

It’s believed she was prescribed the banned substance by a doctor.

The high profile jockey, who also holds a trainers’ licence in Victoria, gave a urine sample at the Swan Hill Cup meeting on June 11.

Payne, who last week competed at the famous Royal Ascot meeting in England, will face the stewards in Melbourne today.

Racing Victoria stewards said Payne was stood down from riding in races and trackwork on June 23.

If she is found guilty it is likely she’ll face a one-month ban.

Des O’Keeffe, chairman of the Australian Jockey Association, said Payne was prescribed Phentermine by her doctor after a career-threatening race fall in Mildura last May, after which she required pancreatic surgery.

“It’s based on the fact that after that split pancreas last year, which was widely reported, her GP has in good faith prescribed her this as something that would assist her,” he said.

“Unfortunately [it’s] Michelle’s onus is to be aware of what she can and can’t take and that should’ve been provided to the doctor who then may have come up with an alternative treatment that didn’t breach the rule once tested.

“I think it’s fair to say she’s extremely disappointed that this has occurred. She accepts full responsibility for having this substance, this appetite suppressant in her system.”