The BHA has a duty to protect the integrity of our sport and the interests of the betting public. That means we will investigate and act where we become aware of suspicious betting activity. Those who lose money in such circumstances would expect nothing less, and we owe it to them to pursue these cases.
We note the independent Disciplinary Panel’s finding that the case against Timothy Brennan was not proved to an appropriate standard. We note too their finding that the BHA was acting reasonably in instigating this enquiry.
Had we had co-operation from the key witness in the case, Timothy Brennan’s brother, this matter might have been resolved much sooner. Notwithstanding, it was important to set the evidence in front of an independent Panel. We await the independent Panel’s full written findings before we can comment further on the detail of this case, including the issue of jurisdiction which the Panel examined.
Around 45% of racing’s income comes from betting. This crucial revenue stream, which in turn generates prize money for participants, should not be taken for granted as the government’s recent decision on gambling reform has shown. In the light of that, it is vital that we continue to investigate if we are to maintain the betting public’s confidence that racing is fair and clean.
The BHA does not have the power to compel unregulated individuals in our sport to be interviewed, hand over evidence or face charges. That is the nature of anti-corruption investigations in sport and it is a challenge for all governing bodies.
Commenting at the conclusion of the case, the BHA’s Head of Regulation Tim Naylor said:
“Mr Brennan was subject to a fair hearing in front of an independent Disciplinary Panel. There was evidence which required examination, as the Panel has recognised, and we note their finding that the BHA acted reasonably. We will continue to charge potential breaches of the Rules of Racing in order to protect the integrity of our sport.”
Notes to editors:
- The BHA introduced fully-independent Disciplinary Panels in 2017 after a review by Christopher Quinlan QC. The decision removed BHA officials from Disciplinary Panels. As the BHA said at the time, the aim of the change was to ensure that everyone connected with the sport of racing would have the utmost confidence in the impartiality and fairness of the BHA’s Disciplinary Panels.