Champion jockey banned from racing because he's unvaccinated fears he could be forced to retire over jab row

Champion jockey banned from racing because he's unvaccinated fears he could be forced to retire over jab row

01/01/2022

A CHAMPION jockey who has been banned from racing because he is unvaccinated fears he could be forced to retire over his jab row.

William Pike, 35, has won just under £55million in a famed career that has seen him rack up 2847 wins in Australia.

But he says he could be left with no choice but to end his career prematurely due to his vaccination status.

Pike was stopped from racing at Perth on New Year's Day because the Western Australia government say all jockeys must be double jabbed.

The rider has refused to get even a first dose of the Covid vaccine and, as part of his justification for not getting jabbed, raised questions about how quickly the vaccines were developed.

Pike said he wanted to take all the available information on board 'in an intelligent way' before getting jabbed – even if it put his livelihood at risk.

He told Freedom Media WA: "My future is very uncertain right now. I really don't know what my future's going to be like.

"I would love to keep riding. I would love to stay on top for as long as I can until one of the young guns come along and boot me off my perch.

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"I really don't want to leave it, but under the circumstances right now with the rules and different things in place, it's getting harder and harder to go out and do my daily job."

Pike said he had 'enormous concerns' over government regulations requiring athletes to be double jabbed.

And he also appeared sceptical over the use of digital passports.

Pike said: "I suppose at one point they were touting a digital passport just so you can get into restaurants and whatnot.

"It's how the future's going to be, they say.

"Well, I don't see how that can be acceptable. You want to go to a restaurant and have a nice meal, why should you have to worry about giving out all your details?

"For me as an athlete as well, health implications definitely have a play in it.

"The vaccines came around really quickly, how did it get here so quick?

"I just had questions and it doesn't feel like we've had the time to digest it and take it all on board in an intelligent way.

"If you walked up to people right now and asked them why did they have it [the jab], they would say, ‘because otherwise I couldn’t work, because otherwise I can’t travel’.

"It doesn’t feel [like you're] participating then, it feels like you’re cornered."

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