ITV’s Oli Bell slams ‘ridiculously harsh punishment’ as jockey is banned for using prescription GP gave him


ITV Racing star Oli Bell has slammed the ‘ridiculously harsh punishment’ handed out to a jockey who used a prescription given to him by a GP.

Flat rider Harry Burns, 28, lives with Crohn’s disease – a condition that inflames the gut and can cause diarrhoea, stomach aches and cramps.

PABurns has been banned for two months after failing to declare a prescription given to him by his GP[/caption]

He has been banned for two months for failing to declare his new medication.

Jockeys have to declare what medication they are using to the BHA’s chief medical adviser Jerry Hill.

Burns had previously done this but in December last year and January this year was given two new ones by his GP.

The jockey did not declare the January one and a test at Wolverhampton racecourse in March found traces of it which fell under the bracket of ‘banned substances and notifiable medications’.

The drug was not a banned substance but a notifiable medication.

Burns, who has 71 career wins and prize money winnings of nearly £700,000, described his non-declaration as having ‘slipped my mind’.

Although the BHA judicial panel said there were a load of mitigating factors, they ultimately ruled that the two months between Burns’ new medication and when it was discovered via a test ‘posed significant and multiple risks of injury and death’.

He raced 30 times in that period and the panel did not accept that failure to declare had merely ‘slipped his mind’.

As news of his ban spread, ITV frontman Bell was one of those to pick up on the story.

He slated the BHA ban as ‘ridiculously harsh’ – a sentiment echoed, seemingly, by many punters.

One said the punishment was an ‘absolute disgrace’ while another said ‘a warning would have been enough’.

One comment read: “Totally ridiculous decison to ban him under the circumstances.”

While another said: “It’s completely unfair and unjustified.”


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