Champion jockey in 2019, 2020 and 2021, Oisin Murphy has nonetheless fallen foul of racing authorities, at home and abroad, on several occasions throughout his career. In June, 2019, Murphy was stood down for the day after providing a breath sample containing alcohol above the threshold level for race riding at Salisbury. In November, 2020, he was banned for three months by the French racing authority, French Galop, after providing a urine sample that tested positive for metabolites of cocaine at Chantilly in July that year. While for some of us being hedonistic involves something like playing the online blackjack in the hope of a winning streak, Oisin was clearly keen on a bit more action!
In December, 2021, Murphy handed in his jockey’s licence, pending disciplinary action for breaching Covid-19 protocols in 2020 and two more failed tests for alcohol, one at Chester in May, 2021 and the other at Newmarket in October, 2021. Appearing before the independent disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in February, 2022, Murphy admitted all five charges against him, including ‘acting in a manner which is prejudicial to the proper integrity, conduct or good reputation of the sport’. He received three 11-month suspensions, albeit to run concurrently, plus an additional 100 days for alcohol breaches, backdated to the day on which he relinquished his licence. Thus, Murphy, 26, effectively received a 14-month ban and is ineligible to reapply for his jockey’s licence until mid-February, 2023. He was also fined just over £31,000. A hefty sum for most, for instance as a win on online casino sites. Playing those would’ve been a wiser decision in terms of getting a thrill (and hopefully a win!) fthan the paths he chose.
Reflecting on his behaviour, Murphy said, ‘I couldn’t undo the lies and deceit. Now that I’m sober I’m a different person and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have made those errors sober, but I can’t go back in time and I’m afraid they were grave issues.’