Corruption must be driven out of horse racing

Share

Yesterday's arrest of 16 men by police investigating alleged race fixing is a welcome sign that the horse-racing authorities have woken up to the corruption at the heart of the sport and are finally doing something about it. We are some way from the presentation of any evidence, but we know that more than 80 races over the past two years are suspected of being rigged.

Yesterday's arrest of 16 men by police investigating alleged race fixing is a welcome sign that the horse-racing authorities have woken up to the corruption at the heart of the sport and are finally doing something about it. We are some way from the presentation of any evidence, but we know that more than 80 races over the past two years are suspected of being rigged.

The rise of internet betting exchanges is behind the alleged increase in race fixing. Unlike traditional betting shops, these online exchanges enable punters to bet against horses winning. The suspicion is that this has tempted some jockeys and trainers to place bets against themselves online and then deliberately lose races.

The methods of cheating are becoming increasingly sophisticated. But so are the methods of targeting those involved in corruption. As internet exchanges point out, bank account details of all those who have made bets are stored and accessible to the authorities. Exchanges also provide a record of suspicious betting patterns. The irony is that, as well as making it easier to cheat, the exchanges make it harder for miscreants to get away with it.

The Jockey Club, the racing regulator, deserves credit for successfully co-operating with the betting exchanges and the police in this affair. And by banning jockeys using mobile phones on the racecourse it has sent out a message that dodgy practices will not be tolerated. But there is no room for complacency. The regulator is still stained by accusations made in a BBC investigation two years ago that it lacks the "moral courage" to deal with corruption, and lingering suspicions that it is too close to those it polices. The public has to be assured that cheats will not always be one step ahead of the authorities.

It is to be hoped that these investigations will help to restore confidence in the integrity of horse racing. Punters spend some £12bn each year, and have a right to expect that they are watching fair races. Unless corruption is seen to be driven out of the sport, the horse-racing industry might wake up one day to discover that all bets are off.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Real Estate Solicitor 2+PQE - City

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGH VALUE REAL ESTATE / RESID...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A couple calculates their costs with the help of some paperwork  

It’s the dream of escape that makes couples keep their finances secret from each other

John Walsh
Theresa May  

It's not hard to imagine Prime Minister Theresa May standing on the steps of Downing Street

Jane Merrick
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?