AN inquiry into the “trial of the century” of former champion jockey Kieren Fallon and five others has been dubbed a “whitewash” and is expected to absolve horseracing authorities of any blame when its report is published today.
Former chief constable of Wiltshire police Elizabeth Neville was last year commissioned by the British Horseracing Authority to establish if the BHA should shoulder any responsibility for the trial that an Old Bailey judge dismissed in December without the need for defence evidence.
Clare-born Fallon, 43 — currently on the sidelines because of a drugs ban — walked free from court along with co-defendants Darren Williams and Fergal Lynch (both jockeys), and Shaun Lynch, Philip Sherkle and Miles Rodgers.
There was severe criticism of the decision by the City of London Police, at the behest of the BHA, to mount the prosecution in the first place as evidence against the six defendants was littered with contradictions and misunderstandings.
However, a source close to Fallon said last night Ms Neville’s report will exonerate most, if not all, of the parties involved in the investigation.
“It’s going to be a total whitewash,” said the source.
Fallon, along with the other jockeys in the case, was suspended from riding for 15 months after he was charged with conspiracy to defraud Betfair customers, until the case collapsed. He was stable jockey to the Ballydoyle/Coolmore empire at the time of his suspension and is thought to have missed out on millions in prize money.
It is expected Fallon’s legal team will go after all of the documentation built up by the BHA and police, and also look for answers on the funding of the trial, which is thought to have cost at least €10 million.
Today’s report is expected to clear the BHA, its independent regulatory director Benn Gunn and its director of integrity services and licensing Paul Scotney of any serious wrongdoing.
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