Jockey Noel Callow shown tweets of alleged drinking and drug abuse before riding at Kilmore

Five-time Group 1-winning jockey Noel Callow was left in shock when shown texts of alleged drinking and drug use by stewards prior to riding a hot favourite at Kilmore.

A Twitter handle with just 38 followers sparked a heated stewards inquiry involving jockey Noel Callow before he rode $1.70 favourite Diamonds’n’stones to win at Kilmore on Tuesday.

Callow was at Kilmore for just one ride, the hot elect for Team Hawkes in the second race, when he was asked to provide a random urine sample under the normal drug testing procedure.

But it was the subsequent inquiry into an unsubstantiated “tweet”, responding to the official Racing Victoria stewards Twitter handle on an unrelated matter that raised the jockey’s ire as he prepared to ride the favourite.

The tweet, shown to Callow as a screen shot by stewards, alleged he was seen at a Richmond hotel on Monday “Had 100 pints last night 2 bags, last seen at the sporting globe Richmond claiming not to be Noel Callow”.

It followed another tweet response to Racing Victoria stewards from the same account that alleged Callow had “40 pints and a (picture of a bag) and can no longer ride”.

“I was absolutely stunned,” Callow told Racenet.

“I thought this couldn’t be serious, it rattled me.

“I’m self-employed, I’m there to do a job for my owners who employ me and the trainers. It’s a privilege to ride for John Hawkes and his family and after all that happened I’m behind the barriers thinking this isn’t happening. Thankfully the race couldn’t have gone any better and the horse won like he should have.”

“I arrived at the races early and had a sauna before being told my number was up for a random drug test. I have no problem with that, I had to drink a little water so I could provide a sample.

“I know the stewards have a job to do and absolutely no problem with the drug test, they happen all the time. But it was when stewards called me to the room to talk about the tweet and its allegations that shocked me. I thought ‘are they serious’.”

Callow was then asked to do a breath test, which he agreed to in the jockey’s room within 45 minutes of the race start time. It came back negative.

Callow, who objected to being asked personal questions about his whereabouts on Monday after the allegations were tabled, told stewards he had spent Monday watching American NFL football with fellow jockey Mark Zahra.

“I’m not on social media but it’s disappointing and frustrating that I have to answer these sort of allegations from someone with no credibility.” Callow said.

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Knicks re-sign starting PG Payton, add Noel

FILE PHOTO: Jan 12, 2020; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks head coach Mike Miller talks to point guard Elfrid Payton (6) during the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

November 22, 2020

Two days after being among a group of six players released by the New York Knicks, the team agreed to re-sign starting point guard Elfrid Payton to a one-year, $5 million contract for next season, multiple outlets reported Saturday.

The Knicks also agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal with center Nerlens Noel, according to multiple reports.

The 6-foot-3 Payton needed only 48 hours to get his job back. Since the NBA’s free agency period tipped off on Friday, several other point guards have agreed to deals — including Fred VanVleet staying with the Toronto Raptors and D.J. Augustin heading to the Milwaukee Bucks.

After signing with New York in July 2019, the 26-year-old Payton played in 45 games (36 starts), averaging 10.0 points, 7.2 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.56 steals over 27.7 minutes.

The Knicks are Payton’s fifth NBA organization since being drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 10th overall pick in 2014. The 76ers shipped Payton to Orlando in a draft-day trade that summer, where he played for three-plus seasons before being dealt to Phoenix in the 2017-18 season.

In Payton’s six NBA seasons, he has averaged 11.0 points, 6.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game over 387 career contests (331 starts).

The well-traveled Noel spent the past two seasons with Oklahoma City, averaging 7.4 points and 4.9 rebounds in 61 games (seven starts) for the Thunder last season. The Knicks will be the 26-year-old’s fourth team since being drafted No. 6 overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2013 draft. His 2.9 blocks per 36 minutes ranked 10th in the NBA last season.

The Knicks are rebuilding under new team president Leon Rose and new coach Tom Thibodeau. New York finished the 2019-20 season with a 21-45 record and has not had a winning mark since the 2012-13 season.

–Field Level Media

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