LEADING trainer Karl Burke has been disqualified for 12 months after a British Horseracing Authority inquiry into alleged race-fixing.
The Yorkshire-based handler, who saddled Lord Shanakill to Group One success in France this month, was investigated after the BHA concluded its review of evidence from the Old Bailey trial in 2007, in which jockeys Darren Williams, Fergal Lynch and Kieren Fallon were all acquitted of any wrongdoing.
The BHA disciplinary panel decided to postpone the start of Burke's penalty until the day after the time allowed for lodging an appeal - July 28 - because "it would be wrong to cause what might be irreparable damage to Burke's business in that time if he does intend to appeal.
"As the panel does not know of the grounds for such an application, this should not be seen as any encouragement to make it, but it is right to identify that Burke has the opportunity."
Fallon did not have to face any further charges from the racing authorities but Williams, Lynch and Burke - who was arrested but released without charge as part of the original police investigation - were called before the disciplinary panel along with former owner Miles Rodgers, who has been warned off for life.
Williams, Lynch and Burke faced charges concerning their relationships with Rodgers and whether they supplied him with inside information over 12 races in 2004.
Lynch and Williams admitted those charges on the first day of the hearing as well as failing to supply information requested by the BHA team.
Lynch also owned up to a charge of betting via Rodgers and stopping a horse from running on its merits.
Williams was banned for three months while Lynch, who is now based in America, paid a £50000 (about R654000) fine and agreed not to apply for a British licence for 12 months.
The disciplinary panel said it was "very conscious of what it was told of Burke's personal situation and training operation" and that it was recognised "a penalty of disqualification has a potentially very serious effect on his owners and employees especially". -Sapa-AFP