12/18/2001 1:00AM

Starke draws Hong Kong ban

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Four-time champion German jockey Andrasch Starke has been temporarily suspended from riding by the Hong Kong Jockey Club after testing positive for a prohibited substance after last Wednesday's International Jockeys Championship at Happy Valley.

The HKJC would not specify for which substance Starke tested positive in a random sampling, the reserve portion of which has been sent, at Starke's request, to the Racing Analytical Services Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia for an independent analysis.

Starke, who was suspended for seven race meetings in Hong Kong after having tested positive for alcohol on Dec. 26, is planning to spend a second winter riding in Hong Kong. He was shut out in three Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin on Sunday, but won the final race on the card aboard Cheers Hong Kong. He will be unable to ride until the independent test results are returned from the laboratory in Australia.