03/21/2005 1:00AM

Donnie Meche gets banned


Jockey Donnie Meche was suspended Saturday by the Oaklawn Park stewards for refusing to provide them with a urine sample for a drug test and for allegedly attempting to bribe a track official.

Meche is suspended until he appears before the Oaklawn stewards, the ruling reads, adding that he will be asked to "respond to the allegation of attempting to bribe the assistant security supervisor."

No date for the hearing had been set as of Monday afternoon.

Meche, who is based at Fair Grounds, was at Oaklawn to ride Jazzy Gallop in the Rebel Stakes. He was replaced by Roman Chapa, who finished fifth aboard Jazzy Gallop.

Stewards at Fair Grounds also have suspended Meche pending the hearing. Meche was taken off his mounts there on Sunday.

Oaklawn Park stewards refused to comment on the ruling.

"We can't comment because it's under investigation," Arkansas state steward Johnnie Johnson Jr. said Sunday.

Meche could not be reached for comment.

Meche, 31, was given a one-year suspension by the Louisiana Racing Commission for not persevering aboard 2-5 favorite Cleaning House in a race at Delta Downs on Jan. 23, 2003. Also in 2003, Meche tested positive for an amphetamine that he claimed was a weight-loss prescription drug and received a 30-day suspension from the Fair Grounds stewards. He agreed to be tested regularly for drugs after that suspension.

Meche was tied for second with James Graham in the jockey standings at Fair Grounds at the time of the latest suspension.

- additional reporting by John Swenson