A JOCKEY who took crystal meth to celebrate getting engaged has been slapped with a one-year ban.
Toni Moki, 38, admitted she partied “far too excessively” following the joyful proposal in November last year.
She was picked for random testing while working at Te Aroha racecourse in New Zealand.
And when her results came back, the rider tested positive for the recreational drug methamphetamine.
Moki admitted her error, claimed it was a “one-off” incident and showed remorse.
But her hopes of being handed a reduced sentence were quashed by the Racing Integrity Board.
They have suspended her from horse racing until February 2024 in a strong stance against drugs.
Moki sent an email to stewards and believed the drugs had cleared her system before riding again.
She said: “All I can say, in the hope of receiving a lenient decision, is that I did take drugs over that weekend.
“However, it was a one-off situation because my partner proposed to me and I was over-excited and celebrated far too excessively.
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“It was a poor decision but getting engaged only happens once in a lifetime.
“I’m more than prepared to back up this statement by providing further samples for drug testing at any time or place that you ask.”
The Racing Integrity Board insisted drug taking in racing can tarnish the reputation of the whole industry while methamphetamine causes particular concern due to the potential contamination of horses.
Moki now expects to be forced to terminate her dream career because of the financial implications of the ban.
She continued: “I made a huge error in judgement, but everyone who worked with me that day will attest to the fact that nothing about my behaviour suggested I was incapable of performing my job to the best of my abilities.
“I believed that I was not under the influence of any drugs.
“The instant stand down from my job is understandable and I would financially be able to get by if I knew it was short term.
“A 12-month suspension will mean that I have to give up a career in the racing industry for good.
“Precedence shows that every jumps jockey that has been suspended for this length of time has not come back to the industry. Not one of them.”
Moki added she believed a ban similar to that of those testing positive for cannabis or alcohol would be appropriate – and she would be willing to pay for monthly drug tests to “show proof of rehabilitation”.
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