Integrity Review’s ‘Challenge Panel’ appointed

15 Sep 2015
  • Role of Panel to ensure rigour and fairness of Integrity Review process
  • Panel Chaired by Nick Bitel, Chief Executive of the London Marathon and Chair of Sport England
  • Review underway and expected to be concluded by the end of 2015 

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced the appointment of the independent ‘Challenge Panel’ that will oversee the BHA’s ongoing Integrity Review.

The Panel consists of five leading figures from sports and gambling law, governance and regulation and is Chaired by Nick Bitel, Chief Executive of the London Marathon  and consultant at Kerman & Co solicitors.

Nick Bitel was responsible for recruiting the further Panel members, with a focus on a relevant range of experience and the ability to be challenging. He is joined by: Simon Barker (Assistant Chief Executive for the Professional Footballers Association); Philip Freedman (Chairman of the Horsemen’s Group); Terry Miller OBE (former General Counsel for The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and former International General Counsel of Goldman Sachs International); and Nick Tofiluk (Executive Director, Regulatory Operations for the Gambling Commission).

The role of the Challenge Panel is to ensure the rigour and fairness of the process and, if required, to challenge the direction of the Review and the recommendations that arise. The Integrity Review will report in to the Challenge Panel at multiple staging posts in the Review process.

Adam Brickell, Director of Integrity, Legal and Risk for the BHA, said:

“One of the key objectives of the Integrity Review is to identify ways of building trust between the sport’s participants and the wider public on the one hand, and the BHA’s Integrity Department on the other.

“In order to help achieve this, it is crucial that we ensure the confidence of the industry in the process.  The Review must be, and be seen to be, sufficiently rigorous and challenging of our existing processes. In other words, we can’t be seen to be simply ‘marking our own homework’. It is for this reason that a Challenge Panel has been put in place.

“It is hugely encouraging that Nick Bitel has been able to assemble such a formidable Panel for this purpose, and I look forward to our work being thoroughly examined by the group.”

Nick Bitel, Chair of the Challenge Panel, said:

“It is vital that the Integrity Review is not only thorough and rigorous, but is seen to be so by all parts of the industry. The Challenge Panel is there to ensure that the review is carried out fairly and does not shy from making recommendations which might be uncomfortable for some. The Panel will not hesitate to make it’s views clear if the Review fails to reach the high standards that it has been set.”

The Review will consider the BHA’s policies and processes in this sphere, and it’s Integrity department’s structure. It has the objectives of establishing how the BHA will continue to develop a modern and contemporary approach to integrity; improve efficiency, consistency, and communication; demonstrate greater openness; and show that it is fair, accountable and in tune with its participants.

The Review methodology is based on consultation and this process has already begun, being led by both Adam Brickell and Sir Paul Stephenson. It is now the Review’s intention to extend the consultation net wider with numerous further invitations being released.

Further to this the Review is inviting submissions from those who have not been approached but may have pertinent views on the BHA’s integrity processes. Details of how to make such submissions can be found on the Integrity Review’s dedicated web page: stage.britishhorseracing.com/bha/integrity-review/.

The Review is expected to be concluded before the end of 2015.

Notes to Editors

1. Details of the launch of the Integrity Review can be found here: http://www.britishhorseracing.com/press_releases/adam-brickell-confirms-details-of-bhas-integrity-review/

2. Further information about the Integrity Review, including the Terms of Reference of the Review, can be found here: stage.britishhorseracing.com/bha/integrity-review/.

3. Challenge Panel biographies:

Nick Bitel (Chair)

Nick Bitel was appointed Chair of Sport England in April 2013 following three years as a Board Member.  He has been the Chief Executive of the London Marathon, the world’s most successful city centre marathon, since 1995. The event has grown substantially in that time and now sees over 37,000 finishers each year who between them raise a world record £52 million per annum.

Nick is also a solicitor and consultant at Kerman & Co specialising in sports law.  His clients include The Wimbledon Championships, UEFA, European Tour and the Ryder Cup. Nick is a Board Member of the London Legacy Development Corporation. He is also a Board Member of UK Sport.

Simon Barker

Simon is a former professional footballer who played for Blackburn Rovers, Queens Park Rangers and Port Vale in a 19 year career between 1981 and 2000, appearing in a total of 624 competitive matches and scoring 84 goals.

After retiring from professional football he joined the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) where he has worked for the last 15 years. Whilst at the PFA he earned a Business Management degree at Manchester Metropolitan University and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at Manchester Business School.

In his role as Assistant Chief Executive at the PFA, Simon manages contractual, regulation and disciplinary issues between players, clubs and governing bodies, and educates and assists members on issues that affect their playing careers.

Simon sat on the Sports Betting Integrity Panel set up by the UK Government in 2009 and chaired by Rick Parry to make recommendations on designing and implementing an integrated strategy to uphold integrity in sports and associated betting. He is also a member of the Sports Betting Group and Sports Betting Integrity Forum which were set up as a result of the Parry Panel report and has a wide range of knowledge and experience of education programmes for participants in sports.

Simon is also a Trustee of the Professional Footballers’ Pension Scheme and National Football Museum and a Director of the Professional Players Federation and Sports Resolutions (UK).

Philip Freedman

Philip Freeman is Chairman of the Horsemen’s Group as well as Managing Director of Cliveden Stud in West Berkshire, Chairman of Trustees of the British European Breeders Fund and is a Member of the Jockey Club. His previous roles have included two spells as Chairman of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Director of Jockey Club Estates, Chairman of the Flat Pattern Panel, Chairman of the BHA Taxation Panel and a Steward at Kempton Park and Sandown Park Racecourses.

Terry Miller

Terry Miller was General Counsel for The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games from 2006 to 2013, heading a legal team responsible for covering all aspects of LOCOG’s operations from planning through delivery and winding up. Before joining LOCOG in October 2006, Terry spent seventeen years at Goldman Sachs, where she was a partner and served as International General Counsel of Goldman Sachs International. In 2006, Terry was selected as Legal Week’s General Counsel of the Year, and in 2013 she was selected as Legal Business Lawyer of the Year.  She was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year’s Honours List, for her services to the London 2012 Games.

Most recently, she has served as a director of the organizing committee for the 2014 Invictus Games, and is now a trustee of the Invictus Games Foundation.  She is also a non-executive director of Galliford Try plc, Goldman Sachs International Bank, and the British Olympic Association.

Nick Tofiluk

Nick Tofiluk’s focus is upon corporate leadership of the Gambling Commission with strategic focus upon licensing, compliance, intelligence and enforcement. He has specific responsibility for the Commission’s focus upon sports betting integrity issues and in developing with UK government, the national approach to address the risk of the manipulation of sports competitions which is based upon aligning the intelligence and investigation work of the Commission, sports betting operators and associations, sports governing bodies and national and international law enforcement agencies.

Nick works extensively within the international context. He is a trustee of the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR), was a UK delegate in the negotiation of the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, is Chair of the Council of Europe (EPAS) network of Regulators, a member of EU Expert Groups and works with the International Olympic Committee in developing the legacy of the 2012 London Games sports betting integrity strategy and with UEFA.

Before joining the Gambling Commission in 2007 Nick was an Assistant Chief of Police with extensive experience territorial policing, serious and organised crime and criminal intelligence matters. He was the UK director for National Ballistics Intelligence Programme, chair of the UK Firearms Intelligence Committee, vice chair of the UK Firearms Strategy Group and UK Director of the Police National Database programme. Nick has degrees from the Universities of Birmingham and Cambridge and an Advanced Diploma in Organisational Management from Manchester University.