Scotney admits: After Fallon trial failure, we won't let police handle corruption cases again


Last updated at 20:40 28 March 2008

Paul Scotney, the BHA's director of integrity services, last night spoke of his devastation at the collapse of the Kieren Fallon racing fixing trial at the Old Bailey in December but revealed he had never considered resigning.

In his first major interview since the dramatic court case, Scotney, who was criticised for a poor performance in the witness box, faced calls to stand down after it was claimed in court that he had pursued a vendetta against the six-time champion jockey.

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It was alleged that he had said he was out 'get' Fallon when drunk at a Haydock seminar in 2006.

An independent investigation by sports lawyer Mark Gay this week cleared the security chief of the allegations.

In an interview with BBC Radio FIve Live, Scotney said: "I was devastated. A lot of work had gone into that investigation, principally by the police.

"What we set out to do was what we thought was the right thing at the time and the prosecution failed.

"A lot of people were calling for my head based on rumours and innuendos that were simply not true.

"It seems that the defence's tactics were to try to discredit all the witnesses. We didn't get a chance to reply to those allegations because the trial didn't go far enough.

"But the main reason I did not think about resigning was just a personal thing.

"I thought what we had done in the last three years in rooting out corruption was quickly forgotten. In June, July, August last year, people were talking about the successes we'd had. Up to 14 corrupt jockeys were out of racing.

"But, within the space of a few months, people had forgotten about the work we had done.

"That's the way these things work but I just wanted to stay and show that things hadn't changed and that if we find that people are cheating we will continue to deal with that.

"Having said that, the evidence I have now of people cheating in racing is vastly different from what it was when I started."

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Scotney refused to blame the police for the failure of the trial of Fallon and his five fellow defendants and revealed delays in receiving trial evidence from the CPS had frustrated attempts to decide whether anyone should now face charges over breaches of the rules of racing.

He claimed that had he faced the same case now, it is likely that it would be dealt with by his own department without recourse to the police.

Scotney added: "We'd discuss it with the Gambling Commission and in general terms we would look to investigate it ourselves.

"We need to do what we think is the best for racing and that is to rid it of the cheats. That's what we think we have done over the last few years. We are confident we are doing the right thing at the moment.

"We have shown over the last three years that as a regulator we can rid racing of the cheats and I think that racing is generally clean."

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