FACING THE MUSIC: Apprentice jockey Josh Jones heads into the stewards’ inquiry at Grafton yesterday.
FACING THE MUSIC: Apprentice jockey Josh Jones heads into the stewards’ inquiry at Grafton yesterday.

Jockeys back on cup day

NORTHERN Rivers apprentice jockeys Joshua Jones and Adam Hyeronimus will be free to ride in the Ballina Cup despite being suspended at a stewards' inquiry at Grafton yesterday for using a banned substance.

As reported previously by The Northern Star, Jones and Hyeronimus admitted to stewards that they had used a diuretic at a Tweed River Jockey Club TAB meeting at Murwillumbah on August 10 after drug testers ambushed the track. Both jockeys were immediately stood down from racing.

Subsequent urine samples confirmed the pair had used the diuretic furosemide and both pleaded guilty at the inquiry yesterday.

The apprentices were suspended from riding until September 10, a ban of four weeks, which happens to fall on Ballina Cup day.

It was a welcome outcome for the duo, with Jones having won the Cup previously at his home track.

The riders were accompanied to the inquiry by their masters, Sue Birney and John Shelton.

“I was happy with the outcome,” the Grafton-based Hyeronimus said.

“It could have been a lot worse, but I think being honest helped my case. I'm now just looking to the future.”

Jones and his master Birney did not return calls yesterday.

Furosemide is a powerful diuretic that is used to treat the excessive accumulation of fluid in the body caused by heart failure, cirrhosis, chronic kidney failure, and the nephrotic syndrome.

It is also sometimes used alone or in conjunction with blood pressure pills to treat high blood pressure.

Another rider, Coffs Harbour's Jasen Watkins, was also found guilty of using furosemide from a positive sample taken at the Murwillumbah meeting. He was given a ban until September 20.

Northern Rivers Racing Association chief steward Craig Pringle presided over the inquiry but he declined to comment on the case.



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