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Horse racing community has a drug abuse problem, says Kieren Fallon 13/12/2009
Will Hayler

Kieren Fallon has reopened old wounds within horse racing by claiming there is a drug abuse problem within the sport and, more particularly, within the extensive racing community in Newmarket.

The six-times champion jockey, who returned in September from an 18-month ban for a second failed drug test, appears tomorrow on the BBC's Inside Sport programme.

"Newmarket has the highest rate [of drug use] for its population in any town in England," he told the interviewer, Clare Balding. "I know there is [a drug problem in racing]. I don't know what can be done. I've done something and I'm all right."

Having served a six-month ban for testing positive for a metabolite of cocaine in 2006, Fallon said the stress of the race-fixing trial at the Old Bailey led him to fail another test the following year.

"Obviously when things aren't going well ... my life was spiralling out of control," he said. "Every second week we're having to take trips to England [from Ireland] to my barristers. We couldn't see an end to it, we were no nearer after a year we couldn't see an end to it and you get to the stage you don't really care any more."

Fallon is not the first to suggest that racing, and the town which is its heartbeat for more than half of the year, has such issues.

In 2005 the suicides of three stable staff linked to alcohol and drug abuse led to the establishment of the Newmarket Racing Partnership, funded in the main by the Racing Welfare charity.

"There is a drugs problem in Newmarket but that's because we are no different to any other town and have a cross-section of the community," said the town's racing chaplain, the Rev Graham Locking.