Benoit de la Sayette strongly dismisses suggestion he has taken cocaine after video appears on social media
The Professional Jockeys' Association (PJA) has described a video claiming to show jockey Benoit de la Sayette in the presence of cocaine at the weekend as 'malicious' and 'clearly intent on trying to cause significant damage'.
The 18-year-old hit the headlines on Saturday when he rode the John Gosden-trained Haqeeqy to victory in the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster.
Later a clip appeared on a social media account – purportedly run by the star apprentice – that showed him at a party where lines of the Class A drug can be seen.
However, via the PJA, De La Sayette has insisted that the clip was recorded in October 2019, not last weekend – and further stressed that he has never taken the drug.
A PJA statement read: "A film has been tweeted from an account purporting to be Benoit de la Sayette’s. The film was apparently first circulated in the aftermath of Benoit’s victory aboard Haqeeqy in the Unibet Lincoln at Doncaster on Saturday. For the avoidance of doubt, this account is not Benoit’s nor is it under his control. This carefully edited film maliciously suggests that Benoit was taking cocaine after winning the aforementioned race.
"Benoit lives with his parents and was driven to and from Doncaster on Saturday by his father along with another jockey, and spent the evening at home with his parents. He was also riding at Doncaster on Sunday and once again driven there and back by his father.
"The film is actually from October 2019, when he was 16, nine months prior to Benoit being licensed. He was at a party in Lambourn and filmed being in the presence of cocaine that others, not him, were taking. He did not and does not take cocaine.
"Whoever is responsible for the distribution of this film is clearly intent on trying to cause significant damage to a young man at the start of his career. The PJA is taking steps to try and have the account that posted the video removed."