Knott free to resume racing interests
Anthony Knott, former owner of Cheltenham Festival winner Hunt Ball, is free to resume his interests in racing after the British Horseracing Authority announced he will not serve the rest of a three-year penalty handed out by the disciplinary panel in 2014 for passing on inside information.
Anthony Knott (left): Free to resume interests in racing
Knott was disqualified from the sport by a BHA disciplinary panel chaired by solicitor Matthew Lohn.
The Somerset farmer was found guilty of allegedly supplying information to former owner Anthony Callow, who won more than £6,000 laying Knott's Theroadtogorey to lose in a race at Uttoxeter in 2012. Both Knott and Callow denied the charges.
The pair had been banned from December 19, 2014 until December 18, 2017. That no longer applies to either Knott or Cowell and records of the offence have been removed.
Their case was one of seven highlighted as being potentially unsound due to the involvement of Lohn, whom it emerged was engaged by the BHA to advise on other matters, giving rise to claims of an appearance of bias in favour of the governing body.
A statement from the BHA read: "An agreement has been reached with Anthony Knott and Andrew Callow regarding their cases, without the matter going to arbitration or court.
"Mr Knott and Mr Callow deny breaching the Rules of Racing. The consequences of the situation regarding Mr Lohn on Mr Knott's and Mr Callow's cases and penalties, for example whether the decision should be quashed, or whether the matter should be reheard, is a matter of dispute.
"However, bearing in mind that both have already served 22 months of a 36-month disqualification or exclusion (respectively), the BHA does not believe it is in the best interests of racing to spend considerable time and money either through arbitration or in the High Court, disputing those consequences. Such proceedings are likely to take several months, by which time both individuals would have served at least two years of their three-year disqualification or exclusion period.
"To avoid costly and protracted proceedings, the BHA has agreed not to enforce the remaining period of disqualification and exclusion, to remove the decision from both individuals' disciplinary record and to remove their names from the BHA's list of disqualified and excluded persons as of Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Mr Knott and Mr Callow have agreed that this represents the conclusion of this matter."
BHA chief executive Nick Rust said: "The BHA is making progress in its progression of the legacy cases involving Matthew Lohn.
"We believe we are taking a fair and reasonable approach and acting in the best interests of racing, while also bearing in mind the specifics of each individual case."