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Havlin loses his France Galop appeal against six-month drug ban

Rab Havlin has had his appeal rejected and is banned until September 21
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Robert Havlin has failed in his attempt to overturn a six-month suspension handed down by France Galop after a positive test for a cocktail of five banned substances returned at Saint-Cloud last October

Havlin appeared before the appeal panel in Paris on Tuesday, during which the 43-year-old presented evidence of his settled family life, one his legal representative claimed was completely at odds with the nature of the charges. 

The ban takes immediate effect and is the standard length for a first offence. France Galop will expect the BHA to reciprocate the suspension, which runs until September 21, as is standard practice.

On Tuesday it is understood Havlin produced medical evidence at the hearing that his counsel said contradicted the findings of the original sample from October 30. 

Notably, the report of the appeal hearing refers to his legal team's rejection of the presence of morphine, as well as a sworn testimony given to a French court by a toxicology expert that Havlin could not have "actively consumed" cocaine during the period in question. 

'He fiercely maintains his innocence'

When the positive test and his ban first came to light, Havlin said in a statement he was "a victim of an outrageous miscarriage of justice and defamation of my character". He added he was confident his appeal would succeed.

A tweet from the Professional Jockeys Association on Thursday night read: "Full statement regarding France Galop's dismissal of Rab Havlin's appeal will be issued tomorrow am. He fiercely maintains his innocence."

A spokesman for the BHA said at the time the news first broke: "The BHA has been informed of the decision by France Galop to suspend Mr Havlin from riding in races for six months. Under the international agreement and the rules this penalty will be reciprocated when it comes into effect."

The spokesman added to the statement on Thursday, saying: "However, the individual involved has the right to lodge an application to the BHA for the penalty not to be reciprocated. Such an application would be considered by the disciplinary panel."

The PJA indicated in advance of the appeal hearing it was strongly minded to lodge such an application were the penalty to be upheld.

Under the international agreement and the rules, this penalty will be reciprocated when it comes into effect

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