UK-based trainer George Prodromou has signalled his intention to appeal after being disqualified for eight years following the conclusion of a disciplinary hearing centring around the running of two horses at Lingfield in January 2010.
The horses, Timeteam and Trip Switch, were found not to have run on their merits by the British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel, having been laid to lose on the betting exchanges.
In respect of Timeteam and Trip Switch, Cypriot-born Prodromou was found in breach of Rule (A)41.2 in that he conspired with other persons to commit a corrupt and fraudulent practice.
He was also found in breach of Rule (C)45.4.1 by failing to give instructions to Charlotte Kerton, the rider on both occasions, necessary for the horses to run on their merits. The Panel said it considered this the most serious breach.
Former amateur rider Kerton, who is no longer licensed and has not ridden in Britain since 2010, was found in breach of Rule (B)59.2 in that she intentionally failed to ensure that the geldings were run on their merits. The Panel ruled she should not be able to re-apply for a licence for a period of six years.
Prodromou had admitted he was in breach of Rule (C)64.1 in that he placed lay bets with a betting organisation on a horse under his care and control to lose a race, namely Mister Frosty in December 2009 and January 2010.
Prodromou said: “I’m 100% appealing. I think it’s absolutely disgusting the way they have treated me and I’m gobsmacked, I just can’t believe it.
“I haven’t done anything wrong. I’ll talk with my barrister and QC and we’ll discuss everything to do with the appeal.
“An eight-year ban is unheard of, especially for the amounts of money they are talking about.
“I think it was a witch-hunt.
“I made one silly mistake (the laying of Mister Frosty, which carried an 18-month disqualification) which I held my hands up to. It was a terrible mistake, but I’ve still been treated more severely for that than other people who have admitted the same thing. I only did it to minimise my initial investment.
“Previously I’d never done anything like that before in my life.”
Four other unlicensed individuals were handed disqualifications.