Jockey hit with TEN-YEAR ban for using electrical shocking device punters spotted in hastily deleted photo

Jockey hit with TEN-YEAR ban for using electrical shocking device punters spotted in hastily deleted photo

A JOCKEY has been banned for ten years and fined £3600 for using an electrical shocking device punters spotted in a quickly deleted photo.

Tomas Mejia was kicked off all his rides last Friday after a photo of him celebrating a winner caused widespread alarm.

Stewards were alerted to an image that appeared to show two prongs sticking out of the rider's left hand.

The prongs looked like they were part of a battery or electrical shocking device.

The photo had been posted on Monmouth Park's official Facebook page to celebrate Mejia's first winner since returning from injury in July.

An investigation was launched after eagle-eyed punters spotted the object.

The probe, which referred to the photographic evidence, ruled: "Upon entering the winners' circle and prior to dismounting from the horse Strongerthanuknow on September 3, 2021, Tomas Mejia was in possession of a prohibited electrical device."

Batteries or shocking devices deliver jolts to horses to make them run faster.

Stewards also pushed for Mejia's jockey licence to permanently revoked.

The ruling added: "In addition to the penalty issued herein, the Board of Stewards refers this matter to the New Jersey Racing Commission and recommends the permanent revocation of Mr Mejia's New Jersey Racing Commission licence."

Mejia's ban lasts until September 2031 and he is banned from all grounds under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Racing Commission.

The jockey, who is from Panama, had been snapped celebrating his comeback win at Monmouth in New Jersey, US, earlier this month.

He beat 4-5 favourite Mumbai by a neck in the seventh race on the card.

Mejia, 26, was leading apprentice jockey in Panama and had won 110 races in the US since arriving in 2018.

A ten-year ban is one of the biggest in racing.

Fellow jockey Roman Chapa, who recently passed away, was given five years for using one of the buzzers in 2007.

Top Australian rider Jason Waddell, 35, was banned for a decade after he threatened to kill a racing boss in a menacing phone call.

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