Michelle Payne after winning the 2015 Melbourne Cup. Image: YouTube/ABC News (Australia)
Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne has been stood down from riding and trackwork after she tested positive for a banned substance.
Payne will face Racing Victoria stewards on Thursday after a report from Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) confirmed the presence of Phentermine in a urine sample taken at the Swan Hill Cup meeting on June 11.
Phentermine is a banned substance in racing which acts as an appetite suppressant.
The controversy comes just three days after Payne rode at the highly extravagant Royal Ascot race meeting in England.
Payne’s father Paddy told The Daily Telegraph last night that he believed she had taken a dietary pill called Neuroform which is widely available in Europe and the US and can be bought online, but that his daughter hadn’t spoken to him about the allegations.
“I heard that she had a Neuroform or something like that,’’ he said.
“I just heard a whisper, I don’t know if it’s right or not.
“Michelle hasn’t said anything to me about it at all.’’
Payne captured the hearts of Australians when she won the 2015 Melbourne Cup on horse Prince of Penzance, becoming the first female jockey to win the prestigious race.
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She suffered a nasty fall in 2016 which damaged her pancreas, but was not dissuaded from her riding career.