The British Horseracing Authority has pledged to work more closely with the betting industry and other sports and regulators in the fight against corruption.
Publishing its Integrity Review, a wide-ranging initiative launched in 2015 and overseen by an independent panel, the BHA made six main recommendations to improve and maintain the sport’s standing.
It said one was to “extend our partnerships with other organisations across the betting industry, other racing jurisdictions, other sports and regulators in order to increase our access to intelligence”.
Other recommendations were to establish a “stakeholder integrity forum to act as an advisory group, forming a united front to help keep corruption out of horseracing” and make improvements to the disciplinary process.
The BHA said it would also work closely with stakeholders to review the processes of the disciplinary panel, licensing committee and appeal board.
British horse racing was in the spotlight in 2007 when six-time champion jockey Kieren Fallon and five members of an alleged syndicate were acquitted after being accused of fixing 27 races over a 21-month period.
The BHA review involved consulting more than 100 interested parties including trainers, owners, jockeys, the betting public, media and legal representatives.
Paul Stephenson, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner who joined BHA last year, was the review sponsor and has encouraged whistleblowers to come forward.
“As I know from my professional past, dealing with people who have something to say but are frightened of the consequences is one of the most difficult things you can deal with,” Stephenson said.
“Are there people in racing who feel they want to speak out but feel they can’t? Yes. Well they can.”
BHA chief executive Nick Rust told the Guardian newspaper that when he took on the job last year he felt technology was posing new threats.
“We were looking at phone records and text messages but people are moving on to undetectable communications like WhatsApp,” he said.
“We were getting bogged down in more complex defences and to see high-profile cases taking three years was not where we wanted to be.”
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