15 May 2013

Exclusive: Frankie Dettori admits cocaine shame

“I paid a big price” – in an exclusive interview, Frankie Dettori admits to Clare Balding he took cocaine in a “moment of weakness”. Watch the preview here – in full on Channel 4 News, Thursday, 7pm.

Six months ago, the career of Britain’s most famous jockey was in tatters. Frankie Dettori made headlines across the globe when he tested positive for drugs and was banned from horse racing for six months in December.

In his first TV interview since the ban, speaking to Clare Balding for Channel 4 News, Dettori admits for the first time that he took cocaine and says he has paid the price for his mistake.

“I’m very ashamed and embarrassed, and paid a very big price for it, you know. I spent six months not doing the thing that I love, racing,” he said.

I’m very ashamed and embarrassed, and paid a very big price for it. Frankie Dettori

As he prepares to get back in the saddle professionally, 42-year-old Dettori said the drug test failure at Longchamp in Paris last year was a “moment of weakness” after splitting with his long-time stables, Godolphin.

“Things were going bad, I was depressed and I guess a moment of weakness, and I fell for it and I’ve only got myself to blame. I can’t blame anybody else,” he said.

“The embarrassment of when it come out, I had to hide in my house for a week. The paparazzi outside. The embarrassment of telling the children, you know. You know they still go to school, they might get bullied, and so it was a very, very difficult time.”

Watch the full interview on Channel 4 News on Thursday at 7pm.