Best legal team not prepared to accept rehearing process

Trainer Jim Best

Jim Best’s lawyers were critical of the BHA again on Wednesday

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

 By Jon Lees 1:23PM 6 JUL 2016 

THE scheduling of the rehearing of the BHA non-trier case against Jim Best has run into problems after the trainer’s solicitors said they could no longer accept the involvement of the organisation responsible for finding a new panel chairman.

After the guilty verdict and four-year disqualification of Best was quashed by an appeal panel in May, on grounds that included a perception of bias issue after it emerged inquiry chairman Matthew Lohn had carried out other paid work for the BHA, it was accepted independent disputes resolution service Sports Resolutions would help identify an independent chair for a rehearing.

However, Stewart-Moore Solicitors on Wednesday claimed it had not been included in all correspondence between the BHA and Sports Resolutions and said it understood the person identified as the new chairman has worked on the same panel as Lohn.

Private correspondence

“Over the last few days it has emerged that the BHA has been involved in private correspondence with Sports Resolutions regarding the rehearing,” Stewart-Moore said in a statement. “The BHA has never disclosed the existence of this correspondence.  

“In fact it is now clear that the BHA was aware of who Sports Resolutions would put forward as chairman of the rehearing from the outset, having privately asked for that information even before the appeal hearing took place.

“This fact was eventually and properly disclosed to us by Sports Resolutions. It has now been brought to our attention that the proposed chairman is apparently a member of the National Anti-Doping Panel together with Matthew Lohn.”

‘Unsatisfactory state of affair’

The statement continued: “The BHA have indicated to us that they consider correspondence of this nature between its staff and Sports Resolutions to be confidential. Indeed some of it is marked confidential. For its part Sports Resolutions appears to take the line that whether it is disclosable is up to the BHA.

“Given that the whole point of Sports Resolutions’ involvement in this matter is to ensure there is complete transparency surrounding the Best rehearing, this is a completely unsatisfactory state of affairs. We have written to the BHA explaining that Mr Best cannot accept Sports Resolutions taking part in the rehearing and asking them what we do now.”

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