27 Jan 1998 Pre-2014 Releases

Arrests In Doping Investigation

Published: 27 January 1998

The Jockey Club has today been informed by the Metropolitan Police that a number of people have been arrested in connection with the doping of two racehorses in 1997 and other incidents of race fixing. The arrests were made following extensive investigations first by the Jockey Club’s security department and then by the Metropolitan Police, with the continued participation of the Jockey Club. The Jockey Club understands that among the individuals concerned are three licensed jockeys.

Today’s events reflect the high priority that the Jockey Club places on keeping racing straight. Over £14m a year is spent on racing’s “integrity services”, including high-tech surveillance and monitoring of every race and every racecourse stable. 7,500 horses are sampled each year to ensure that the sport remains as free of doping as humanly possible.

The Jockey Club thoroughly investigates all allegations of malpractice and where there are clear indications of criminal activity the police are involved. These investigations suggest that there is no evidence of widespread criminal activity in the racing industry.

Christopher Foster, the Jockey Club’s Executive Director, said: “The Jockey Club will continue to do everything it can to maintain the integrity of the sport. Wherever there is prima facie evidence of criminal activity we will not hesitate to call in the police, but all available evidence suggests that incidents of race fixing are very rare.

“We would like to thank the police for their ongoing efforts to help us root out corruption in racing. While these criminal investigations continue the Jockey Club will consider immediately whether any further action is required in the interests of maintaining confidence in racing.”

Notes for Editors

The Jockey Club is the regulator of horseracing in Great Britain and ensures that is run as fairly and safely as possible. It is not directly involved in the regulation of betting, which is regulated by the law. It operates completely independently of the sport’s participants, with all its resources and energies focused on its regulatory role. This regulatory remit includes the licensing of participants and the enforcement of the Rules of Racing. At the heart of its actions to protect the integrity of horseracing lies the security department.

The security department is made up of 35 full time and several part-time employees. The activities of the department are wide ranging and include investigations, intelligence gathering and surveillance, inspections of training establishments, monitoring moves in the betting market and the provision of security staff at racecourse stables.

On average the Jockey Club’s security department undertakes about 90 investigations each year on behalf of the Licensing and Disciplinary Committees.

The Jockey Club has no powers of arrest, search or seizure. When, during the course of an investigation, there is a clear indication of criminal activity the Jockey Club will involve the police. The Jockey Club only has the power to enforce its own Rules of Racing.

In recent years the Jockey Club has introduced the following new measures to combat the threat of corruption in horse racing:

– Upgraded its intelligence investigators (2 Detective Chief Superintendent’s, 1 Detective Chief Inspector Special Branch, 1 Military Intelligence
– Built up good working relationships with Police & Customs Agencies
– Run informants to Home Office Guidelines
– Introduced security hot-line Raceguard 0171 935 7151
– Introduced CCTV coverage of racecourse stables
– Introduced a system under which warnings can be issued and licences withdrawn if persons are not considered “fit & proper”

In addition, the Jockey Club continues to:
– Insist on high standards of integrity camera coverage of races (4 cameras to TV standards)
– Provide stable security staff during race meetings
– Dope tests 10% of all runners (7,500 pa)
– Undertake surveillance of suspects
– Pass to Police/Customs evidence of criminal activity and then work with them
– Refine its rules on non-triers
– Rigorously enforce the Rules of Racing