Jim Best had a BHA conviction for stopping horses quashed
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Mark Scully 7:22AM 7 JUN 2016
JAMIE STIER, the BHA’s director of raceday regulation, has been identified as the official who dismissed concerns about the appearance of bias in the governing body’s disciplinary process.
The issue reared its head in recent weeks as a verdict against Jim Best was quashed after the BHA admitted it paid Matthew Lohn, the solicitor who chaired Best’s disciplinary panel, to carry out other work.
The nature of that work had yet to be made public but according to a letter from Stier to Professional Jockeys Association chief executive Paul Struthers seen by The Guardian, Lohn had been employed “on two specific matters relating to medical issues”.
Stier, happy that those issues did not have any impact on matters facing a disciplinary panel, told Struthers they did not have to be disclosed. He added though that Lohn would not be used in cases in which the subject matter related to the medical issues on which he had advised the BHA.
“The BHA is satisfied that it is appropriate for Mr Lohn to continue to sit on the disciplinary panel in the future, and nothing raised in your letter has altered this position,” Stier wrote.
“We believe the correct test for establishing whether there is an appearance of bias is ‘whether the fair-minded and informed observer, having considered the facts, would conclude that there was a real possibility that the tribunal was biased’.
“The BHA is comfortable that the current composition of the disciplinary panel passes this test and that the overall disciplinary process is one that provides a fair process.”