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Page last updated at 12:06 GMT, Friday, 28 November 2008

Fallon 'can ride again in 2009'

By James Munro
BBC sports news correspondent

Kieren Fallon
Fallon is currently riding in California

The British Horseracing Authority has confirmed that it will not be issuing any charges against the six-time champion jockey Kieren Fallon.

The BHA has completed an investigation into betting on horses to lose, known as "laying" horses.

The decision means Fallon, 43, is free to resume his career in Britain when his drugs ban ends in September 2009.

Fallon has agreed to attend appropriate training in relation to inside information.

The BHA investigated seven people, including a former owner, Bruce Bennett, and his sons Mark and Lloyd, who laid bets on horses ridden by three jockeys - Fallon, Dean Mernagh and Dean McKeown - in 27 races between 2003 and 2004.

The BHA says it took the decision not to charge Fallon after he accepted that his attitude towards inside information in the past had been "reckless".

Fallon is serving an 18-month ban after testing positive for cocaine in France. He will also undergo an individually-tailored drug testing and assessment programme, as a condition of his returning to the sport.

The BHA said it had also taken into account the fact that there was no suggestion that there had been any attempt to stop a horse, or fix a race.

Fallon's solicitor, Christopher Stewart-Moore, told the BBC his client was currently riding in California, but that Fallon had told him he was "very glad to draw a line on the past, and move forward in a positive manner".

The BHA says that none of the Bennetts has co-operated with the investigation, and as a result it will be asking a disciplinary panel to consider "warning them off", or banning them, from racing.

None of the jockeys, however, will be charged. McKeown was "warned off" for four years after a separate investigation, but will appeal next month. Mernagh is no longer involved in British racing.

Last year, Fallon and five other men were acquitted of all charges after the collapse of a race-fixing trial, which followed a 6m investigation by the City of London Police.

The judge, Mr Justice Forbes, said that there was nothing in any of the evidence to suggest anything other than the innocent passing on of information.

And the BHA has confirmed that Fallon will face no charges arising from the trial.

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see also
Panorama: Racing's Dirty Secrets
28 Nov 08 |  Horse Racing
Fallon fails in drugs ban appeal
08 Feb 08 |  Horse Racing
Fallon's B sample tests positive
17 Dec 07 |  Horse Racing
Jockey Fallon's rollercoaster ride
25 Jan 08 |  Horse Racing
Fallon cleared to ride in Britain
07 Dec 07 |  Horse Racing
Jockeys acquitted of race-fixing
07 Dec 07 |  UK News
Fallon back with win at Tipperary
07 Jun 07 |  Horse Racing
Fallon banned after positive test
29 Nov 06 |  Horse Racing

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Guardian Unlimited Horse racing: Kieren Fallon cleared to return to racing next September - 41 mins ago


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