Sunday 17 December 2017

Ten-year ban for rider Ahern

Eddie Ahern has been handed a 10-year ban from riding
Eddie Ahern has been handed a 10-year ban from riding

Group One-winning jockey Eddie Ahern has been disqualified for a total of 10 years following the conclusion of a British Horseracing Authority corruption hearing.

Ahern, 35, was found guilty of conspiring to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice in relation to the laying of five horses between September 2010 and February 2011.

He was also found in breach of intentionally failing to ensure Judgethemoment was ridden on its merits at Lingfield in January 2011, and of passing information for reward.

Former West Bromwich Albion footballer Neil Clement has been disqualified from the sport for a total of 15 years. He faced charges relating to the five races Ahern rode in and also the laying of Hindu Kush, who he then owned, when that horse finished last of six at Kempton in February 2011.

The 34-year-old was found guilty of conspiring to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice, of placing a lay bet on Hindu Kush and of a failure to provide phone records.

Ahern's solicitor Christopher Stewart-Moore said his client intends to appeal both the BHA disciplinary panel's findings and the severity of the suspension.

Stewart-Moore said in a statement issued to Press Association Sport: "Eddie Ahern is absolutely devastated by the BHA Panel's findings. He did not breach the rules of racing as found by the panel or at all and he will be appealing both the findings as well as the very harsh penalties imposed on him."

Ahern's counsel, Jonathan Harvie QC, feels his client had been "hard done-by", saying: "I am reflecting on it that no doubt if you are counsel for somebody you have a more sympathetic view on it than the tribunal. I just happen to think he was hard done-by. You have to have got through the hearing to have framed a view about the merits.

"They took one view, and Christopher Stewart-Moore and I took a slightly different view. Justice is an imperfect thing because people decide. Some people say one thing, some people say another, and a decision is reached. History is littered with imperfect decisions.

"I'm not for a moment criticising the tribunal. They came to a decision in no doubt good faith. I happen to think that there might have been a different view. There might have been a better view. But it's not for me to impugn the judgement of the tribunal. He wants to appeal."

Press Association

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