Professional Jockeys’ Association claim rising star Benoit De La Sayette has been victim of a smear campaign after video of 18-year-old appearing to take cocaine leaks online
- A video appearing to show Benoit De La Sayette taking cocaine has been leaked
- The Professional Jockeys’ Association have defended the 18-year-old star
- They claim the teenage jockey is the victim of a malicious smear campaign
- The short clip appeared online from an account claiming to belong to the rider
The Professional Jockeys’ Association have said an video purporting to show Saturday’s Lincoln Handicap winning apprentice jockey Benoit De La Sayette taking cocaine has been maliciously edited to smear the 18-year-old rising star.
The PJA added in a statement that the intention was to ’cause significant damage to a young man at the start of his career’.
The eight-second clip appeared on social media from an account claiming to belong to the rider, who won the Lincoln on Haqeeqy at Doncaster for his boss Newmarket trainer John Gosden.
A video appearing to show Benoit De La Sayette (pictured at Doncaster Racecourse on Saturday) taking cocaine has been leaked
The PJA statement read: ‘A film has been tweeted from an account purporting to be Benoit De La Sayette’s.
‘The film was apparently first circulated in the aftermath of Benoit’s victory aboard Haqeeqy in the Unibet Lincoln at Doncaster on Saturday 27th March.
‘For the avoidance of doubt, this account is not Benoit’s nor is it under his control. This carefully edited film maliciously suggests that Benoit was taking cocaine after winning the aforementioned race.
‘Benoit lives with his parents and was driven to and from Doncaster on Saturday by his father along with another jockey, and spent the evening at home with his parents.
The Professional Jockeys’ Association have claimed the video has been maliciously edited to smear the 18-year-old rising star (pictured winning Lincoln Handicap at the weekend)
‘He was also riding at Doncaster on Sunday and once again driven there and back by his father.
‘The film is actually from October 2019 when he was 16, nine months prior to Benoit being licensed. He was at a party in Lambourn and filmed being in the presence of cocaine that others, not him, were taking. He did not and does not take cocaine.
‘Whoever is responsible for the distribution of this film is clearly intent on trying to cause significant damage to a young man at the start of his career. The PJA is taking steps to try and have the account that posted the video removed.’
De La Sayette, who only had his first rides late last year, has made an instant impact riding 10 winners from only 27 rides. It has sparked talk of him being a candidate to be the 2021 apprentice champion.