AMATEUR rider Luke McGuinness has regained his licence after a 21-month break during which he served two suspensions for positive drug tests.

McGuinness received a two-year drugs ban in March 2018. That penalty was suspended after six months following a positive review of his case. However, a second failed test in early 2020 saw the original ban reimposed and a six-year suspension handed down for the second offence.

In the meantime, McGuinness cooperated with the IHRB senior medical officer Dr Jennifer Pugh and addiction counsellor Pat Brennan, while working for trainers Gordon Elliott and Nigel Slevin. Dr Pugh told the Referrals Committee that McGuinness is now “positively unrecognisable” from the person he was before.

Referrals Committee chair Mr Justice Tony Hunt told McGuinness: “We have considered all the evidence and the submissions put before us and listened to you and paid close attention to what Dr. Pugh has told us and it is clear you have done very well in terms of everything that has been required of you.

“In the circumstances and because you have opportunities with Mr Slevin and Mr Elliott, who both need to be highly complimented on their approach, we are going to permit you to take out a licence again from 22nd December, if granted by the licensing committee.

“The six years suspension will be suspended for a period of six years with the condition being that you stay under the supervision of the IHRB senior medical officer and comply with any directions by the IHRB senior medical officer.”