Jockey Fallon in new controversy after failing drug test


Last updated at 13:32 08 December 2007

Kieren Fallon became embroiled in fresh controversy today over a failed drugs test - less than 24 hours after his race-fixing trial collapsed at the Old Bailey.

Fallon, 42, tested positive for a banned substance after riding Myboycharlie in the Group One Prix Morny at Deauville on August 19.

The six-time champion rider now faces an anxious wait for the results of the B sample from laboratories before his fate is confirmed.

Fallon's solicitor Christopher Stewart-Moore said: "I can confirm that the story is true but it is a matter we are dealing with together with (French racing authority) France Galop and it is something we are not able to comment on.

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"I am not in receipt of the actual B-sample results.

"The positive test came after he rode Myboycharlie in the Prix Morny at Deauville on August 19."

Fallon has previously served a six-month suspension imposed by France Galop for testing positive for a metabolite of a prohibited substance in June 2006. He was suspended from December 7.

As the Irish Turf Club, under which he is licensed, has an agreement with other racing jurisdictions to reciprocate bans of this nature, he was also unable to ride in Ireland.

Coolmore have stood by their man through the arduous court case at the Old Bailey but the news will come as an added blow to Fallon's employers.

"We are aware that the B sample has not yet confirmed the test," said a spokesman.

Fallon walked free from court yesterday after the £10million investigation into an alleged betting scam dramatically collapsed.

After two months of a trial at the Old Bailey, the judge threw out the evidence of the prosecution's star witness, Australian racing expert Ray Murrihy.

The court had heard that City of London detectives gave Mr Murrihy little more than a few videos and a copy of the Racing Post to make his judgments - and failed to tell him to familiarise himself with UK racing rules and characteristics.

Police had claimed former champion jockey Fallon, 42, two other jockeys and three more conspirators had plotted to win a fortune by rigging the results of 27 races.

The jockeys were alleged to have tried not to win, while supposed mastermind Miles Rodgers, a professional gambler, used the Internet to back their horses to lose.

In fact, the gambles lost more than £300,000 - because Fallon won five of the races he was allegedly supposed to lose.

Police on Operation Krypton spent millions investigating the alleged scam, using bugging devices and surveillance teams and arresting 34 people.

With the aborted trial, the total cost to taxpayers was £10million, according to Fallon's legal team.

As he emerged from court Fallon said: "I am of course relieved and delighted, but also outraged. There was never any evidence against me."

Last night, the City of London force - which is currently investigating illegal payments in professional football - was facing a whirlwind of criticism.

Officers made at least two trips to Australia to interview Mr Murrihy.

A force insider said: "We are a laughing stock. We've flown halfway around the world to interview this guy and all we've come back with is a bad case of sunburn."

The inquiry was triggered by Fallon's ride on a horse called Ballinger Ridge at Lingfield in March 2004.

He was a long way clear in the home straight, but slowed his horse and was beaten on the line.

The Old Bailey heard claims that Fallon had sent coded texts promising to lose races and that he had faced threats from a mystery "Mr Big" when he lost the conspirators money by winning.

He and fellow jockeys Fergal Lynch and Darren Williams insisted the phone calls and texts between them and their co-defendants were innocent, mostly involving offering tips and stable gossip.

The key to the case was the analysis of the 27 races. Mr Murrihy said he had suspicions about the jockeys' efforts in at least 13 of them.

But under cross-examination, he admitted he knew virtually nothing about British racing.

Yesterday Mr Justice Forbes said: "I have reached the conclusion that even if it was appropriate to admit Mr Murrihy's expert opinion, very little value can be attached to it".

He said he had no choice but to instruct the jury to return not guilty verdicts against Fallon, Rodgers, Lynch, Williams and co-defendants Shaun Lynch and Philip Sherkle.

All had denied conspiracy to defraud customers of the betting exchange Betfair. Rodgers was also cleared of a moneylaundering charge.

Fallon's spokesman Brian MacLaurin said later: "This has been a huge waste of taxpayers' money."

He said his team would demand inquiries into the police evidence and why the Crown Prosecution Service even started proceedings.

But Commander Patrick Rice of the City of London police said his force had "no regrets" about taking on the case.

He added: "It is a pity the jury did not have the opportunity to consider all the evidence."

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