THREE FOOTBALLERS ARE among a group who have been charged by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) following an investigation into suspicious betting activity.
Ipswich’s Michael Chopra, Nottingham Forest loanee James Coppinger, ex-Manchester United player Mark Wilson and six others are accused of “serious breaches of the rules of racing”.
Jockey Andrew Heffernan has also been charged by the BHA, with several of those charged accused of offering bribes to Heffernan, a former British licensed jockey now riding in Australia.
Paul Scotney, the BHA’s integrity, compliance and licensing director, said: “The charges BHA has issued are the result of a long and complicated investigation. This process has taken significant time and resources.
“However, investigations such as these are very similar to fraud investigations and as such are complex and time consuming.
“Furthermore, we encountered difficulties in obtaining telephone records from certain individuals who refused to cooperate. This resulted in us having to make a number of applications to the High Court for orders against their mobile telephone service providers for disclosure of the relevant records.
“We hope that the announcement demonstrates our commitment to deterring and detecting wrong-doing and taking action against those who we believe to have breached the rules.”
The BHA said the races at the centre of the investigation took place between November 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011.