With effect from 1st November 2011, the British Horseracing Authority, in the interests of clarity and certainty, has decided to dispense with its Integrity Codes of Conduct. The Authority had decided that it was now the right time to review the Codes, particularly in light of recent attempts by jockeys to enter into promotional arrangements with betting organisations (which was previously not permitted under the Jockeys’ Code). More generally, it had become apparent that the relationship between the Rules, the Codes, and the Disciplinary and Licensing processes, and the consequences of failing to observe the provisions of the Codes, required clarification.
The Codes were last updated as part of the Rules rewrite in 2009, in order to support the then new definition of “Inside Information”, and to help Racing’s participants to understand the standards of behaviour expected of them in this area. The Codes set out the relevant Rules, along with other, licence-related, integrity provisions.
Many of the provisions contained within the Codes were already covered by specific Rules, and those which were not have now been moved into the relevant Licence/Permit/Registration Application Guidance Notes. Those provisions now form part of the criteria to take into account when assessing an applicant’s “suitability” at the application stage, and on an on-going basis. Any failure to observe the provisions within the suitability criteria will be a matter for the Licensing Committee.
In relation to the specific issue of jockeys’ commercial arrangements with betting organisations, jockeys, like trainers, are now permitted to enter into commercial arrangements with betting organisations (for example, appearing in an advertisement or writing an article for publication). Jockeys and trainers are required to notify the Authority of details of the main terms of such arrangements, which will be made available to the public on stage.britishhorseracing.com (Rules (C)66A and (D)79).
The existing provisions of the “Jockey Sponsorship Code of Conduct” regarding branding sites on jockeys’ clothing, and the Racehorse Owners’ Sponsorship Code of Conduct regarding other sponsorship opportunities on the racecourse, shall continue to apply.
In addition, Rule (A)42A has been added to the Rule book. This Rule imposes an obligation on those bound by the Rules to report to the Authority any approaches (to them or others) they become aware of which seek to cause them to breach the Rules. The sport’s participants will often be the best sources for such information, which may constitute important evidence for integrity investigations. Such a Rule will also help to protect the sport’s participants from such approaches. Many other sports have similar rules in place.