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Jockey Katsidis Explains Drug Use Comments
Queensland Racing announced jockey Stathi Katsidis has "apologised for comments about illicit drug use recently attributed to him in the press". QR stewards were concerned about the nature of the allegations raised & questioned Katsidis about them immediately upon his return to Queensland (after riding at the Sydney Autumn Carnival last weekend). Chief stipendiary steward Wade Birch confirmed: "He is apologetic for making the comments, which he believes were taken well & truly out of context. Stathi acknowledged that such a poorly worded response could have a damaging effect on the sport & has said that he would take the comments back if he had the opportunity." QR emphasised it has "a rigorous drug testing program for all riders which ensures every jockey & trackwork rider in Queensland is tested regularly, with those testing positive the subject of immediate disciplinary action". During the current financial year the program "has been extended to ensure every rider, regardless of region, has provided a sample for testing". And Queensland Jockeys' Association vice-president jockey Jason Taylor declared: "There is simply no basis for Stathi's comments. We are tested so often these days that there is no way that you could use drugs & expect not to get caught."