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Regretful Payne outed for four weeks

Jockey Michelle Payne
Jockey Michelle Payne says she regrets making a mistake after returning a positive drug test.

Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne says she accepts full responsibility after being outed for four weeks for taking a banned appetite suppressant.

Payne says she is embarrassed and regrets the mistake, but accepts the onus falls on her as a rider to know what she is taking and the rules around it.

Payne was prescribed Phentermine by her doctor to treat gastrointestinal problems, connected to injuries sustained in a fall last year.

She said she regretted not seeking more guidance.

“I wasn’t thorough and that is completely my fault,” Payne told reporters on Thursday.

“Going forward I am very much looking forward to finding a solution and working in with my surgeon.

“I look forward to working hard and being in great shape upon my return to racing.”

Racing Victoria stewards banned Payne from riding in races for four weeks, until July 21.

Stewards’ inquiry chair Robert Cram said Payne admitted she knew Phentermine was a banned substance under the racing rules.

Cram said stewards took into account factors including her guilty plea, that she is remorseful and her medical circumstances.

“However, notwithstanding those factors it is our view that you didn’t comply with your fundamental obligation to seek advice before taking the substance Phentermine,” he said.

The positive result is from a urine sample Payne gave at the Swan Hill Cup meeting on June 11.

RV stewards told Payne of the positive test last week and stood her down from riding in races and trackwork from June 23.

If another sample is clear she will be able to ride trackwork during her ban.

Payne rode at Royal Ascot last week and has been invited to compete in the Shergar Cup international jockeys’ challenge at Ascot on August 12.

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