Two harness racing drivers charged after a police investigation into race fixing can return to competitive racing.

The pair had been excluded from driving in totalisator races by the Racing Integrity Unit pending the hearing of criminal charges against them.

Their names are suppressed by court order.

The RIU went to the Judicial Control Authority for clarification on the exclusion notices issued to the pair.

A two-man JCA committee of former Court of Appeal judge Lynton Stevens QC and law professor Geoff Hall quashed the RIU’s racecourse inspector’s decisions to prevent the men driving in totalisator races, saying they failed to take into account whether the harm of that measure was proportionate to the charges the pair faced.

“It follows that, pending the disposition of the criminal charges against open horsemen X and Y, or alternatively pending the making of any further order by the Judicial Committee, open horsemen X and Y can drive at any race meeting at which betting is available,” their ruling released on Friday said.

Thirteen people were charged in the Operation Inca investigation. Some of those charged have already pleaded not guilty and have been remanded to a review session on December 5 and then to a case review hearing on March 25 – the next stage on the way to trial.