BHA clear Tim Brennan of corruption charges
Willie Mullins’s vet had been accused of passing on inside information to his brother
A statement added: “The panel concluded that there were, on the evidence, a number ofother realistic possibilities for the source of any such information.” Photograph: Getty
Champion trainer Willie Mullins’s vet, Tim Brennan, has been cleared by a British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel on corruption charges.
Kilkenny-based Brennan had been accused of passing on inside information to his brother,Michael Brennan, about an injury to the Mullins-trained Faugheen shortly before the horse was ruled out of the 2016 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Michael Brennan was alleged to have subsequently placed “lay” bets against the horse in betting markets. An indefinite exclusion order was placed on Michael Brennan by the BHA in October 2016 after he refused to co-operate with its investigation.
The case against Tim Brennan was heard before a disciplinary panel on Monday and Tuesday. On Thursday evening the BHA revealed Tim Brennan has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Having been accused of conspiring with his brother to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice bypassing on information relating to Faugheen which was not publicly available, the disciplinary panel concluded it “has not been proved to the appropriate standard that Timothy Brennan was the source of any confidential information to his brother”.
A statement added: “The panel concluded that there were, on the evidence, a number of other realistic possibilities for the source of any such information.
“The panel considered that Timothy Brennan had co-operated throughout the investigation.The panel had the advantage of seeing and hearing Timothy Brennan give evidence and be cross-examined for the best part of half a day and found him to be a credible witness who did not seek to avoid any of the matters put to him.”
In an embarrassing conclusion for British racing’s ruling body to a lengthy and controversial case, the disciplinary panel also ruled that Brennan, “at the material time in all the circumstances placed before the panel,” was not subject to the rules of racing as a self-employed veterinary surgeon.
The statement said: “So far as is known this issue has not been canvassed before, and on the balance the panel preferred the submissions made on behalf of Timothy Brennan to those made on behalf of the BHA.”
The BHA said in its own statement: “Had we had co-operation from the key witness in the case,Timothy Brennan’s brother, this matter might have been resolved much sooner. Notwithstanding it was important to set the evidence in front of an independent panel.”
The BHA stressed throughout its investigation that Mullins, who gave evidence to the disciplinary panel by phone earlier this week, was not involved in any alleged wrongdoing.