Horse racing: Osborne frustrated by police delay

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JAMIE OSBORNE and Dean Gallagher, two of the jockeys questioned in January by police investigating doping and race-fixing, have reacted with frustration and dismay at learning that they are to remain under police bail until 6 October.

A statement issued by Osborne through his London-based solicitors, Barker Gillette, said: "The reason stated by the police for this delay is that they have recently received a large number of documents which have to be catalogued, indexed and analysed.

"I wish to make it clear on Mr Osborne's behalf that these documents did not come from him and that he is very disappointed at this delay.

"The fact that Mr Osborne has not been charged is indicitive that there is still no evidence against him. Mr Osborne denies any involvement in any wrongdoing concerning his racing career and will continue to do so.

"It was expressly stated to Mr Osborne's legal representative at the time of his arrest that there is no evidence against him and that the officers are acting on information only."

Gallagher, 29, said that the police had offered no explanation for the extension of bail. "The police haven't spoken to me since day one and I am as much in the dark about what is going on as anybody."

So the scandal that threatens to sully the name of British racing looks set to drag on yet longer. Since their arrest on 27 January, the pair - along with the rest of the racing world - have waited to see what course of action would be taken by the Metropolitan Police Organised Crime Unit.

The two jump jockeys and five other men arrested earlier this year were due to report to the police this week. This further delay in proceedings is a blow to those who want the case cleared up quickly.

The jockeys' colleague Leighton Aspell, taken into custosy with Gallagher and Osborne, was released without charge in April.

The most recent arrest in the case came on 9 June when a man was arrested and bailed after police had searched addresses in Fulham and St John's Wood in London and Weybridge in Surrey.