07/07/2006 12:00AM

Fallon gets British riding ban


Kieren Fallon has been banned from riding in England, Scotland, and Wales after the British Horseracing Regulatory Authority ruled on Friday that his license to ride would not be renewed because of race-fixing charges filed against him earlier in the week.

Fallon will, however, be allowed to continue to ride in his home country of Ireland, where the Irish Turf Club has taken a lenient approach to the charges. France-Galop, the ruling body of racing in France, where Fallon is booked to ride Ivan Denisovich in Sunday's Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly, had said that it would not decide on whether to allow Fallon to ride until after the British authority had made its decision.

One immediate result of the ruling is that Fallon would not ride Aussie Rules in Saturday's Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park in England.

Fallon said he will appeal the decision, which he called "extremely harsh and inconsistent." He cited the British authority's ruling on the trainer Alan Berry on Wednesday, which allowed Berry - also charged as part of an investigation into alleged race-fixing - to continue training for the time being.

Fallon issued the following in a statement issued through his lawyers, BCL Burton Copeland. Fallon termed himself "obviously devastated" by the racing authority's decision.

"I always thought," the statement continued, "that a man was innocent until proven guilty. I cannot understand this decision as I am confident that I have done nothing wrong, and my lawyers are confident that the case against me has no validity whatsoever. In fact I am utterly amazed the police were able to charge me based on the evidence I have seen and the questions that they have been asking me this year.

"I am grateful for the support I have received from many trainers and owners around the world. However, unless my suspension is lifted my career is in ruins, as I cannot ask owners or trainers to support me elsewhere when I am prevented from riding in the UK."

Fallon's British-based colleagues Fergal Lynch and Darren Williams, who have also been charged with conspiracy to defraud bettors, have had their licenses to ride in Britain revoked as well. None of the three jockeys will be able to resume riding in Britain until after their trials at the earliest. Those proceedings are not expected to begin until spring of 2007.