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Last Updated: Friday, 16 February 2007, 17:31 GMT
Winston gets one-year suspension
Robert Winston arriving at the HRA HQ in London on Friday
Winston was at the HRA's London HQ on Friday to learn his fate
Leading Flat jockey Robert Winston has been banned for one year after an inquiry into claims of race-fixing.

A Horseracing Regulatory Authority disciplinary panel found Winston guilty of passing on information for reward.

Fellow jockeys Robbie Fitzpatrick and Luke Fletcher were disqualified for three years for similar offences.

Fran Ferris, who was stripped of his licence by the HRA last October for not being "a fit and proper person", was disqualified for two years.

Unlicensed bookmaker Ian Nicholl was warned off indefinitely and will be unable to reapply for 10 years.

Four other unlicensed individuals were also warned off - Paul Glendenning for three years while Kim Evans, Joanne Roberts and Tegan Wilde will be unable to enter licensed horseracing premises for two years.

The investigation centred on 37 races between June, 2003 and February, 2004 and the charges related to 21 horses ridden by Winston, 11 ridden by Fletcher, four by Ferris and two by Fitzpatrick.

The disciplinary panel ruled that Fitzpatrick had passed information for reward to Nicholl for one of his two rides and that he was the go-between for all Ferris and Winston rides.

Fletcher and Ferris were found guilty of not riding a horse on its merits in the knowledge the horse had been laid to lose but Winston and Fitzpatrick were cleared on those charges.

The level of penalty imposed in the circumstances is extremely harsh

Statement from Robert Winston's lawyers

Winston and Fitzpatrick were found to have misled HRA security department investigators while Fitzpatrick was also deemed guilty of hindering the investigation.

The 27-year-old Winston, who had once been touted as future champion jockey, will not be able to ride for a year but he will still be able to work in racing.

However, Fitzpatrick, Fletcher and Ferris are barred from entering licensed premises such as stables and racecourses during their period of disqualification.

Ferris relinquished his riding licence soon after the charges were brought last August but Winston and Fitzpatrick have both been riding this season.

Winston, whose last winner came as recently as Thursday, had six winners while Fitzpatrick had five winners to his name in 2007.

A statement issued by Winston's lawyers said the jockey was "shocked and disappointed" by the verdict.

It continued: "This disappointment is tempered to some degree by the panel finding that they accepted that it was no part of the information he gave that he would ride to lose if necessary, and their further finding that in no instance did he in fact ride to lose.

"The level of penalty imposed in the circumstances is extremely harsh."



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