Trainer and two riders face inquiry

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The Independent Online

Kieren Fallon will come back from America later this year with a clean slate as far as the racing authorities in Britain are concerned, but for others involved in the ill-conceived police investigation that led to the infamous Old Bailey trial which collapsed two years ago, there may still be a day of reckoning.

The trainer Karl Burke and jockeys Darren Williams and Fergal Lynch – the former arrested but released without charge by the police, the latter pair acquitted of any criminal wrongdoing over so-called race-fixing – are to face a British Horseracing Authority inquiry. The BHA announced the move yesterday after concluding its review of evidence from the trial, though a date has yet to be set for the hearing.

The men will be called before the BHA disciplinary panel, along with another acquittee, former owner Miles Rodgers. Both jockeys and the Middleham-based trainer are accused of various breaches of the rules of racing, including those concerning inside information and alleged lay-betting activity on 12 races during a five-month period. Specifically, Lynch is charged with betting via Rodgers and stopping a horse from running on its merits.

Paul Struthers, the BHA's media relations manager, blamed the time-lag on a lack of co-operation from the Crown Prosecution Service and the City of London police. The catalyst for the eventual supply of information requested was a Panorama TV programme last year.

Fallon's co-operation, though, was a significant factor in his exclusion from yesterday's net. "He fully co-operated throughout the investigation into his behaviour," added Struthers, "unlike Fergal Lynch and Darren Williams. He admitted that he had behaved contrary to the rules, unlike those charged today.

"And the charges today are more wide-ranging. It does seem a long time [since the trial] but in effect we have completed a very complex investigation in little over six months."