Cropp Guilty But Escapes Drug Ban

As expected jockey Lisa Cropp has avoided further penalty after returning a positive result to a banned drug on Oaks Day in November.

Cropp was pulled out of riding obligations last Wednesday and barred from all other rides up until yesterday’s hearing.

She was found guilty of testing positive to zopiclone, a common treatment for insomnia.

Cropp had the drug prescribed to her by a doctor but she failed to inform stewards that she was taking it.

Racing Victoria steward Brett Wright oversaw the hearing and said Cropp would have a one month suspension however  it will be stayed for 12 months.

Cropp is now free to return to riding as soon as her second sample, taken last Thursday, is cleared by the Racing Analytical Services Laboratory.

This could still take up to a week to occur.

Wright accepted that Cropp had legitimate cause to take the drug and said that was not an issue however insisted that her failure to follow the required procedures was an offence.

He said that should Cropp reoffend at any time within the next year her one month penalty would be added to any new suspension.

For her part Cropp says she has ceased taking zopiclone altogether and when she was using it was only occasionally.

“I’m not dependent on it,” she said. “I will not be taking it any more, that’s for sure.”

Cropp was represented by Victorian Jockeys’ Association chief executive Des O’Keeffe who said the jockey had been embarrassed by her lapse of judgement.

She will not fulfil her only scheduled ride at Caulfield today but is hopeful of competing in three events at Kyneton tomorrow.

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