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Jockey Dettori cleared to return after six-month cocaine ban

updated 5:08 PM EDT, Thu May 30, 2013
Frankie Dettori will be back in the saddle again after France Galop lifted his suspension for cocaine use.
Frankie Dettori will be back in the saddle again after France Galop lifted his suspension for cocaine use.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jockey Frankie Dettori cleared to return to competitive action
  • France Galop lift his suspension for cocaine use
  • Dettori gave a positive test at Longchamp last September
  • Will return to action at Epsom Derby meeting Friday

(CNN) -- Iconic jockey Frankie Dettori was cleared to return to racing by the governing body of the sport in France Thursday after serving a six-month ban for cocaine use.

The 42-year-old Italian tested positive for the drug at a meeting at Longchamp in Paris last September and he was subsequently suspended by France Galop.

The ban was also reciprocated by the British Horse Racing Authority (BHA).

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Dettori was due to make his comeback last week but was thwarted in his efforts after a test carried out by France Galop produced, according to the BHA, an "irregularity".

Dettori met with France Galop's medical committee Tuesday to discuss a "private matter", the resolution of which means the rider can now return to the saddle.

Read: Dettori given provisional suspension over failed drugs test

The decision to return his license means that Dettori is eligible to compete in Britain's most famous horse race, the Epsom Derby Saturday.

But his likely ride in the Classic, top trainer Aiden O'Brien's colt Magician, who won the Irish 2,000 Guineas, is a non-runner.

That will leave Dettori's only chance to be as a late substitute for another jockey, but he is set to ride in two races at the Epsom meeting Friday.

His first Classic ride is set to be in the French Derby at Chantilly Sunday where he has been slated to ride Andrew Oliver's First Cornerstone.

Read: Dettori wins Epsom Derby for first time

The world of racing was stunned last year when news of Dettori's misdemeanor became public and he vowed to "rebuild his reputation" in accepting his punishment.

He has acquired celebrity status in Britain where he is based -- becoming a household name after riding seven straight winners at the famous English racecourse Ascot in 1996.

Dettori has secured more than 500 Group-level victories in his career -- the majority for the Godolphin stable -- winning 14 British Classics with three wins in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Europe's most prestigious race.

But he will ride as a freelance in the 2013 season after announcing the end of his full-time role with Sheikh Mohammed's Goldolphin operation shortly before he was banned.

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