Marco Ghiani, the winning apprentice from last year, has called his decision to use cocaine “the most idiotic of his life” after his licence was revoked for six months on Thursday as a result of a positive test in August.

On August 25, Ghiani tested positive in Newcastle for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, with a sample that was double the BHA’s cutoff at 301 ng/ml.

Before delivering a urine sample that later tested positive for the prohibited chemical, he had competed in three races at the all-weather event.

Following the verdict, Ghiani told the Racing Post: “It was the stupidest choice I have ever made. I must accept the repercussions of my actions.

Following the verdict, Ghiani told the Racing Post: “It was the stupidest choice I have ever made. I must accept the repercussions of my actions.

“I have had a lot of help from the PJA [Professional Jockeys Association] and the people who have stayed around me, even when times have been hard. I’m riding out, working hard and keeping fit.

“I was caught early so I had not become addicted, which is good, and I’m looking forward to coming back after my huge mistake in March.”

Ghiani is regarded as one of the weighing room’s rising talents. He rode 64 winners this year and had success with Real World at Royal Ascot and in Group races.

According to Tomás Nolan, who was speaking on behalf of the BHA, Ghiani had been open about his usage of cocaine. The jockey had used the medication twice while on vacation, first in Italy in July and once in England in August. Two days prior to his ride in Newcastle, he had last used cocaine.

Ghiani’s agent, Rory Mac Neice, emphasised that the Italian rider is committed to making a lot of effort to win back the respect of his fellow competitors in the weighing room.

Mac Neice said: “Mr Ghiani is hugely embarrassed by this matter and accepts it was a grave error of judgement on his part. He has reflected considerably since on how he got into that position.

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