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Former top apprentice Jason Maskiell has been suspended for six months after testing positive to the illegal drug ice.

The wayward jockey fronted Racing Victoria stewards on Monday after traces of methamphetamine were detected in a urine sample he provided at Echuca races on August 22.

Represented by Victorian Jockeys Association chief executive Des O’Keeffe, Maskiell pleaded guilty to providing a sample which contain a banned substance.

He gave evidence of a personal nature in camera.

Stewards backdated Maskiell’s suspension, which prevents him from riding in races and official trials, to August 25.

It expires at midnight on February 25 but stewards have offered him a two-month stay on the penalty if he proves he has attended counselling on a regular and consistent basis during the first four months.

Maskiell, 21, must provide a urine sample that is free of any banned substance before riding trackwork again.

He only returned to race riding on August 19 after taking two months off for personal reasons.

This season he has failed to get success in 14 rides.

Two of his four mounts at Echuca finished last, while the others finished second last and third last.

He hasn’t ridden since the Geelong meeting on August 23.

Maskiell has had a fractured career since moving to Victoria from Tasmania two years ago as an apprentice.

He finished equal second behind Luke Nolen in the 2009/10 metropolitan jockeys’ premiership with 52 city winners but his apprenticeship with Mick Price didn’t last.

He later joined trainer Robert Smerdon but was banished for failing to attend a compulsory seminar on Oaks day before Smerdon gave him a second chance.

Last season Maskiell rode 27 city winners and finished 11th in the premiership while he rode 65 winners state-wide.

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