Jump jockey Dean Gallagher, who has been fighting a drug habit, has tested positive for cocaine

Dean Gallagher, the jump jockey who returned from a drug suspension to win this year’sChampion Hurdle, has again tested positive to cocaine.

Thirty-three-year-old Gallagher’s riding career must be under serious threat as he faces a possible two-year suspension from the Jockey Club.

He was banned for six months in 2000 after testing positive for cocaine on three separate occasions in France. His triumph on Hors La Loi 111 at Cheltenham was the great comeback story of last season.

Gallagher said in a statement on Thursday: “It is well known that I put a lot of effort into my recovery, but life is not always as easy as it appears.

“I know I’ll receive a significant ban and a return to race riding is unlikely at this stage. I will try to maintain a career in racing despite this news and I remain committed to my recovery.”

John Maxse,M director of public affairs at the Jockey Club, said: “I think Gallagher has done the right thing in admitting he has tested positive as there would have been agreat deal of speculation.”

He added: “The matter is in the process of being dealt with by the Jockey Club. The disciplinary proceedings are ongoing.”

The Government-sponsored UK Sport, the body that tests sportsmen and women for drugs has been criticized for releasing details of the positive findings in their quarterly report before the Jockey Club could complete its own inquiries.

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