PJA 'bitterly disappointed' at BHA panel decision to uphold Havlin French drugs ban

Wed 16 Aug 2017

By Racinguk.com staff

The Professional Jockeys Association is "bitterly disappointed" that the British Horseracing Authority's Disciplinary Panel upheld France Galop's decision to ban Robert Havlin.

Havlin has failed to persuade the disciplinary panel not to reciprocate the six-month ban given to him by France Galop for failing a drugs test.

In February, the French authority said the Newmarket-based jockey had returned a positive sample when riding at Saint-Cloud last October and that it would "request the reciprocation" of the imposed sanction by its counterpart in Britain.

It is a major blow to Havlin, who strenuously refuted the findings and twice appealed in vain to the French authorities. He said at the time he was "deeply upset and shocked" by the suspension and that he fully expected to clear his name following what he described as an "outrageous miscarriage of justice and defamation of my character".

Havlin tweeted: "Didn't get the result we had hoped for today, another six weeks to go, thanks for all the support, #8months11days."

Paul Struthers, Chief Executive of the Professional Jockeys Association, added:

"It is bitterly disappointing that Rab's application has been unsuccessful and his nightmare must continue for almost two more months, the result being that he has effectively been suspended for over 8 months for an offence he was given six months for and did not commit in any event.

"Rab voluntary stood himself down in Britain whilst he attempted to clear his name in France and is now paying the price for that in circumstances where it was highly likely, if not certain, that the BHA would have acted to stand him down had he not volunteered to do so.

"No other rider in future will volunteer to stand himself down in similar circumstances.”

In a statement, the British Horseracing Authority said: "The decision to reject the application for non-reciprocation by Rab Havlin was made by the disciplinary panel, acting independently of the BHA.

"The BHA did not offer a position regarding the application. The BHA's role in the hearing was to facilitate the application and to lay out to the panel the relevant Rules and the facts of the matter as we understand them.

"The application itself was submitted and presented by Rab Havlin and his representatives.

"We cannot comment on the finding itself until we are in receipt of full written reasons."

Havlin's ban runs up to October 4.

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