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Sanders hits out at
level of care after
Chester pile-up

SEB SANDERS has expressed criticism over the care he received after he broke his leg ina pile-up at Chester, an accident that has ruled him out for the rest of the season.

The joint-champion jockey said that the attention he received was not up to the level he would have expected for a professional sportsman, adding that, had it not been for his driver, he would have been left alone without anyone knowing what had happened to him.

Professional Jockeys' Association chief executive Josh Apiafi admitted that the service was "not up to scratch" and said the case highlighted why the jockeys needed their own doctor - a role that will be filled after the final round of interviews on Thursday.

Sanders, who needed surgery after breaking his left femur, said thathe was disappointed at the standard of support he received.

Speaking to Jason Weaver in an interview for At The Races, Sanders said: "As soon as I had left the racecourse I was just another number and received no specialisttreatment. I spent nearly three hours in A&E.

"Although I havesince spoken to Kevin Darley, the PJA did not get in touch at the time and I would have expected to have been dealt with.

"We have private healthcare and so you'd think that things would get done quicker, as we're supposedly professional athletes. We are told things will get sorted as quickly as possible so that our careers are not jeopardised."

Apiafi said he recognised that under the current system jockeys were not guaranteed specialist care once they had left the racecourse.                                                                                     

"The service is not up to scratch and although jockeys receive great medical attention at the racecourse, the moment they leave, there is no guarantee of care," he said. "We need to be the first port of call and on the phone straight away."

Apiafi said that once the PJA's doctor had been appointed, a more professional service would come into being.

"Yes, we know it is too late for Seb, but by January 1 the new system will be in place," he said. "Our doctor will manage jockeys from the moment they fall until they get back on, working out who they can see according to where they are, what insurance facilities they have got and whether they need to be transferred to a private facility or need rehabilitation."

Apiafi said the rules state that the racecourse has to ensure that someone is sent to hospital with the jockey and that Sanders' driver met that requirement.

"If a jockey had been there alone, the racecourse would have nominated someone," he added.

Sanders, who left hospital on Sunday morning, said that although disheartened by the prospect of spending so long on the sidelines, he was otherwise doing well.

"Although the leg's not in plaster, it's going to take time to mend," he said.

"I've been told I'll be out for about four months. Hopefully I won't crack up or go insane during that time."


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