Jockeys cleared after ban for socialising with bookmaker
Two South African jockeys banned from riding for three months by the Mauritius Turf club after being pictured socialising on a boat with a bookmaker have been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Brandon Lerena, cousin of former South African champion jockey Gavin Lerena, and Raymond Danielson were caught up in controversy after pictures and a video emerged on social media of them on a boat with a man they knew simply as 'Ashley'.
The pair claimed they did not know the man was a licensed bookmaker and reported at their inquiry he told them he was a fashion consultant, but officials found them guilty and suspended both from riding in races last month.
However, that ban has now been lifted and Lerena's uncle, Tex, chairman of the Jockeys Association of South Africa, said the pair would return home soon.
"This was a witch hunt," he said, quoted by turftalk.co.az. "Raymond and Brandon weren't guilty for a second. They're waiting for the prosecutor to stamp the necessary documents and will be on the first flight home."
Fellow rider Muzi Yeni was also on the boat but must wait until August 16 for his hearing, while Ashley Singh Jankee – the bookmaker at the centre of the boating trip – was arrested last month.