12/02/2005 1:00AM

Lonnie Meche suspended


Jockey Lonnie Meche has been suspended at least six months by the Sam Houston Race Park stewards after testing positive for amphetamines. Before he can be reinstated, he must pass an evaluation by the Texas Racing Commission's medical review officer. The violation is the second in Texas for Meche.

He tested positive for amphetamines, which can increase energy and dull appetite, in April at Lone Star Park and was suspended 45 days. As part of Meche's compliance with that penalty, he was subject to random drug testing. Meche was tested at Sam Houston on Nov. 5.

The results were known Nov. 17, and at that point Meche was summarily suspended pending a formal hearing, held Thursday. Stewards issued the ruling Friday.

Meche can appeal. His suspension time began with the suspension on Nov. 17.

Meche, 32, is the twin brother of Donnie Meche, who was suspended for seven months by Oaklawn stewards in March for failing to submit to a drug test and attempting to bribe a security official at the track in March.

Both brothers have been leading riders in the Midwest.