Racing: No naming the 'doper'

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THE BBC yesterday maintained its refusal to identify the anonymous 'needleman' who claimed in a television programme that he had nobbled at least 20 horses.

All the findings of the programme, broadcast on Wednesday night, would be made available to the police, a BBC spokesman said. 'However, the BBC does protect confidential sources. It is not our normal practice to release untransmitted film and transcripts of interviews without a court order being obtained,' he added.

'Drug Runner', part of the BBC2 On The Line series, also highlighted lax precautions at racecourse stables, including insecure fencing. But David Pipe, the Jockey Club's director of public affairs, claimed that a scene showing the programme's producer, Mike Parkinson, walking unchallenged in and out of the stables at Newton Abbot had happened after the last race of the day. 'It was all an amateurish pantomime,' Pipe said.

But Mark Coton, chairman of the National Association for the Protection of Punters, commented: 'With so much money deducted from our stakes and winnings and money taken in admission fees at racecourses, it does appear to be a scandal that so little is spent on basic security arrangements.' More people were checking on racegoers' attire than dealing with the dopers, he added.