Drug and alcohol misuse (abuse) can damage not only your physical and emotional health, but also your career prospects, family life and relationships. Your health and wellbeing are a vital part of achieving a successful career in racing, which can be jeopardised by even one occasion of drug or alcohol misuse.
How is Jockey Testing Conducted?
Jockeys are subject to drug and alcohol testing coordinated by the BHA. The Jockey testing strategy is primarily focussed on testing for any substance which is performance impairing (e.g. alcohol, cocaine, cannabis) in order to provide a safe environment for competition.
Riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol not only poses a serious risk to themselves, but also to other Jockeys in the race and their horses.
Testing on racedays takes place across the country and could be on any day. On breath testing days any Jockeys returning positive sample, above the threshold, will be stood down.
On urine testing days, Jockeys are chosen by random ballot or specific selection reasons and the urine is tested for substances listed under the rules as not permitted.
Jockeys may be subject to enhanced testing if they have been previously penalised by a Recognised Racing Authority or convicted by a criminal court for an offence relating to drugs.
- A full list of Banned and Notifiable Medications can be found here
- The Testing Protocol can be found here
- Penalties and thresholds for positive tests
Drug or alcohol misuse also carries the serious risk of life-changing addiction. Possession of drugs can be subject to criminal prosecution. If you are worried about your alcohol or drug use, or have concerns about somebody else; it is important to seek help as soon as possible, the helplines listed below.
Participant contact and helplines
Public contact and helplines
Talk to Frank
Info and support
t. 0300 123 6600
Know the Score
Info and support
t. 0800 587 5879
Evidence based drugs info
Global Drug Survey
World’s biggest drug survey
Mental Health Services
Children and young people
t. 0300 999 1212
Novel Psychoactive Substances
What are the effects of drugs and alcohol on the body?
- Impaired coordination and judgement
- Lack of awareness of the surroundings
- Increased sense of well-being
- Impaired ability to self-appraise
- Tiredness: liability to sleep
- Impaired reaction time
- Impaired ability to multi-task
- Reduced blood sugar levels resulting in hunger
- Dilated peripheral blood vessels
- Reduced body temperature
- Increased urine flow
- Reduced auditory threshold
- Narrowed auditory range
- Short term memory
- Impaired vision
- Willingness to take unnecessary risks
- Inability to recognise danger
Alcohol and drugs have a vast number of effects on the body. These substances can also have specific effects when driving, which can be particularly potent. Alcohol and drugs always impair driving performance and this should be remembered when driving to/from the yard or racecourse.
- Reduced ability to assess speed
- Reduced ability to judge distance
- Reduced ability to judge the width of gaps
- Reduced ability to assess the braking distance
- Reduced ability to ‘multitask’
- Loss of concentration, even on a single task
- Extended reaction time
- Liability to sleep
- Impaired self-judgement of driving capability and performance
- Increased sense of well-being, failure to recognise danger, increased risk taking.
What to do in case of an alcohol or drug-related emergency?
- Keep calm
- Get help
- Call 999
- Give as much information as possible including location, age, gender, what has happened and what they have taken
- Stay with the casualty and reassure them
- Be honest with medical staff and hand over any packets or paraphernalia
- If unconscious put in the recovery position (or on their side)
- If they stop breathing perform CPR (chest compressions)
- Leave them alone
- Inflict excessive pain to wake them
- Give them stimulants or any other drug
- Give them anything to eat or drink (apart from small sips of water)
- Put them in a bath/shower
- Walk them about
- Attempt to restrain them