Following the conclusion of the Disciplinary Panel hearing and the finding of 11 individuals in breach of the Rules of Racing, Paul Scotney, BHA Director of Integrity Services, Compliance and Licensing, gave the following statement:
“While it is the names of the jockeys that the racing public will recognise, people should be under no illusion that it is the lesser known names who were the instigators of these serious breaches of the rules.
“What lies at the heart of this investigation are the actions of two individuals, Maurice Sines and James Crickmore, who, together with their associates, were prepared to corrupt jockeys and to cheat at betting by the misuse of “inside information”.
“The investigation uncovered a network through which Sines and Crickmore engaged in betting activity, in particular with two riders, Paul Doe and Greg Fairley, that impacted on seven of the ten races in question.”
“We take no pleasure in uncovering such serious breaches of the Rules of Racing. However, the findings of the Disciplinary Panel vindicate the hard work of BHA’s Integrity and Compliance teams. In the BHA’s history, the scale and complexity of this case is unprecedented.
“Charges were brought against 13 individuals, only seven of whom were bound by the Rules of Racing, and the levels of co-operation from all varied considerably; this in turn, impacted on the length of time it took to compile evidence for the hearing. When people refuse to co-operate we have to go that “extra mile” to acquire the relevant information from other sources, including telephone records and access to betting accounts.
“These investigations require the co-operation of the betting industry and I would like to thank both the exchange operators and traditional bookmakers for their assistance in the course of this inquiry.
“The case underlines that there is no room for complacency on the part of BHA and others involved with the regulation of sport. The threat from those seeking to gain an advantage at betting through the misuse of inside information is ever present and this case illustrates that ongoing threat. At its worst this leads to the manipulation of the outcome of races.
“The livelihoods of those who work in the racing industry are at stake if they allow themselves to be corrupted by individuals. That includes not just those licensed or registered under the Rules of Racing but also those outside the sport who are prepared to go to great lengths to satisfy their greed. We will continue to work with the racing and betting industries and the Gambling Commission to make all licensed persons, as well as the betting public, aware of the risks posed by the misuse of information.
“We hope that the penalties awarded by the Disciplinary Panel to those who have been found guilty of breaches will act as a strong deterrent to others for the future.”
In relation to the involvement of other regulatory bodies and the police Paul Scotney added:
“Throughout the course of the BHA’s lengthy enquiries into this case, both the Police and the Gambling Commission have been kept fully informed of developments and we have notified them of the outcome of the disciplinary hearing.
“In pursuing this case the BHA has been fully cognisant of the Gambling Commission’s policy that the primary responsibility for dealing with integrity matters in sport should rest with the relevant sports governing body under their respective rules.
With regard to the fact that two of the thirteen individuals charged were not found in breach, including former rider turned trained, Paul Fitzsimons, Paul Scotney added:
“It is our responsibility to identify potential wrong doing and to investigate it. In the course of this investigation it was established that all five licensed personnel had a case to answer in relation to specific races. It is then the role of the independent Disciplinary Panel to weigh up the strength of the evidence placed before them. As is explained in the findings, their conclusions are based on the balance of probabilities.”
Paul Scotney left the BHA offices immediately following the Disciplinary Panel’s decisions on penalties in order to fly to Gdansk, Poland. He has been invited by the Polish Presidency to speak at the EU Sport Directors Meeting, where he will give a presentation on the role of good governance in horseracing and the autonomy of sport from the state.
The invitation arose on account of his experience of regulating a sport which is inextricably linked with gambling and the need to establish frameworks which enable them to police the sport effectively, without statutory powers. This is of interest not only to other racing jurisdictions but all sporting bodies as the threats of corruption in sport from gambling related malpractice increase.