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Last Updated: Monday, 11 December 2006, 19:20 GMT
Jockeys get 18-month suspensions
Horse Racing
Jockeys Brian Reilly and Dean Williams have been warned off for 18 months after an inquiry by the Horseracing Regulatory Authority.

The verdicts follow a long-running investigation by the HRA into alleged corruption in the sport.

Former owner and off-course bookmaker Owen Churchill was excluded for eight years after being found guilty of all four charges brought against him.

The hearing had been adjourned more than three weeks ago without a verdict.

A panel concluded that Churchill groomed Williams with a view to obtaining favours from him for a corrupt purpose.

Williams was found guilty on three counts, in that he communicated information for reward, aided and abetted a breach of the rules, and misled an investigating official.

The panel suspended him for a total of 15 months for those offences.

He was also found guilty of riding Ever Cheerful at Lingfield on 30 December 2004 with the intention of not obtaining the best possible placing, in the knowledge that the horse was being laid to lose on betting exchange Betfair.

For that offence, he was handed an 18-month suspension but both penalties will run concurrently.

Reilly was effectively handed the same punishment after HRA officials investigated six races in which he had ridden.

In three of those rides, he was found guilty by the disciplinary panel on the same three counts as Williams.

He was also found guilty of riding Three Ships at Wolverhampton on 21 January 2005 with the intention of not obtaining the best possible placing, in the knowledge that the horse was being laid to lose on Betfair.

Like Williams, Reilly was also handed an 18-month suspension that runs concurrent with the others.

Churchill was found to have committed a corrupt or fraudulent practice, received information that was not in the public domain and misled an official and hindered an investigation, as well as causing jockeys to breach the rules.

He cannot apply to have the suspension lifted within the eight-year period and was also fined 2,000 for his breach of the rules.



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