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Friday, 18 January, 2019

BHA allows rape probe jockeys to race on after allegations

Three jockeys were arrested over a rape allegation
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Three jockeys arrested over the alleged rape of an 18-year-old girl following an incident last week will be allowed to continue riding while on bail, the British Horseracing Authority has stated.

Brendan Powell jnr and Richard Condon were arrested on Friday and Sean Mooney the next day following a party in Swindon last Thursday. They have since been bailed until next month pending further inquiries. 

On Monday a solicitor for two of the jockeys issued a statement in which they denied the allegations.

Paul Morris, of BCL Solicitors, said: "My clients, Brendan Powell and Richard Condon, are subject to a police investigation with which they are cooperating fully.

"Both categorically deny any allegation of criminal wrongdoing and are confident that, in due course, their innocence will become clear to everyone.

"It is not appropriate at this stage to make any further comment."

The BHA had earlier said the three jockeys were free to continue riding pending the investigation.

A BHA statement read: "Today's reports concerning the arrest and subsequent release on bail of three BHA-licensed jockeys, following allegations of rape, raise a very serious issue.

"The BHA is considering urgently what action is warranted in the interests of all parties concerned and in the context of the wider sport. In the meantime, and at least until we have obtained further details and been able to consider them, the jockeys concerned can continue to ride under our rules."

Paul Struthers, chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association, said on Monday: "The BHA has confirmed the jockeys are able to ride for the time being but are considering what action may be warranted, and we will liaise with them in that regard.

"We would also remind all our members to avoid speculation, comment or discussion of these allegations on social media and to respect the formal process that has commenced."

Powell, 21, a Cheltenham Festival winner on Golden Chieftain in 2013, has ridden 14 winners this season.

Mooney, 20, who rides principally for Lambourn-based trainer Joe Tuite, has three wins this year. Condon, also 20, has won on the Flat and over hurdles in 2016.

The investigation is being carried out by Wiltshire Police. A spokesman from the force said on Monday morning: "Detectives are investigating an allegation of rape of an 18-year-old woman that occurred on November 3 at a residential address in Chiseldon, Swindon.

"Two men, aged 21 and 20, were arrested on November 4 and a third man, aged 20, was arrested on November 5.

"All were taken to a local police station. They have since been bailed to return on a date late in December. Inquiries continue."

Both categorically deny any allegation of criminal wrongdoing and are confident that, in due course, their innocence will become clear to everyone
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