Tuesday 29th July 2008
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s BBC Panorama programme, Paul Struthers, Media Relations Manager for the British Horseracing Authority, said:
“At this time we do not know exactly what Panorama will be saying, although we understand it will focus on the recent Crown Court trial and the related issues, such as the misuse of inside information and laying horses to lose on betting exchanges.
“We acknowledge that racing, as any sport where betting is involved, attracts people on its fringes who will try to cheat the odds by obtaining inside information and within the sport there are some people who are susceptible to these corrupting influences because they are greedy or naïve. We emphasised to Panorama the need to maintain a sense of proportion – there are well over 20,000 owners, trainers, jockeys and stable staff involved in racing, over 10,000 races and millions of racegoers and punters who enjoy the sport. Overall racing is not corrupt and its reputation should not be allowed to be tainted by the actions of a small minority.
“Since Panorama first approached us about the programme over a year ago, the regulator has taken part in background information meetings, allowed filming in its security department and on racecourses by prior agreement and given an interview.
“We’ve co-operated in order to represent racing’s position. Racing invests some £20million a year regulating the sport. The effectiveness of its Integrity Services team has been acknowledged in an independent review by Dame Elizabeth Neville, who described it as a model for the effective investigation of corruption in sport and by other sports internationally, who turn to British horseracing for advice.”