Verdict in Johnson case delayed

Publication of the verdict in the British Horseracing Authority investigation into Howard Johnson running a horse in contravention of the welfare rules has been delayed.

Publication of the verdict in the British Horseracing Authority investigation into Howard Johnson running a horse in contravention of the welfare rules has been delayed.

The County Durham trainer faced nine charges and the decision, and results of the disciplinary panel’s findings, were set to be made public on or by August 10.

However, a BHA statement said: “The Disciplinary Panel has informed BHA that, as the reasons are taking longer than anticipated to complete, the result and reasons in relation to Howard Johnson will not be released on Wednesday August 10, but on either Thursday 11 or Friday 12.”

Johnson, who was informed last week of the panel’s findings into any breach of the rules following the conclusion of the hearing, has been fighting to save his career as a trainer.

He did admit to running a horse (Striking Article) that had undergone a palmar neurectomy under his care, but he claimed he was unaware of the rule that states he should not have done so.

The neurectomy to the horse’s left fore-leg came to light following a post-mortem carried out after he was pulled up and euthanised at Musselburgh on February 7, 2010.

The procedure involves severing nervous connection to the lower leg to cause numbness. It is banned under the Rules of Racing on welfare grounds.

Striking Article underwent the procedure in April 2008, yet ran eight times afterwards.

Johnson was also charged under a separate investigation in relation to the administration of laurabolin, an anabolic steroid containing nandrolone, to three other horses under his care.

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