In a mild departure from reports of athletes turning to performance enhancing drugs to gain an edge, recreational drugs have derailed the promising career of 21-year-old Luke Tarrant.
Tarrant, winner of the 2015 Magic Millions, was warned off for six months after he pled guilty to taking a form of cocaine. According to the Queensland Jockeys Association, Tarrant’s is another instance of young riders receiving excessive cash before gaining the maturity necessary to act responsibly.
Queensland jockey ranks have had an increase in this type of situation of late, including a four-month suspension against apprentice Matthew McGillivray last year for a positive test result for methamphetamines (speed) and MDMA (ecstasy).
The senior ranks have not proved immune, either, as evidenced by the six-month ban of Ric McMahon last year.
QJA boss Glen Prentice is arguing for a wage system that more closely resembles the practice in other states of paying a set wage and holding money from race rides and prizes until a certain age or senior status is attained, rather than paying in advance.
What effectiveness this potential new policy would have is debatable, since young men, with or without large sums of money, are endlessly creative at ways of engaging in mischief.