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Ipswich Town striker Michael Chopra says he cannot afford to defend his name when a British Horseracing Authority panel begins its inquiry into alleged corruption next week.

Chopra, a problem gambler, and jockey Andrew Heffernan, who was riding in Australia until the charges were announced in October, are among nine people facing the BHA over serious breaches.

Two other footballers, Mark Wilson and James Coppinger, were also named in the probe.

Heffernan has been stood down from riding in Australia pending the outcome of the case.

Chopra said in a statement he could not afford to cover his legal costs in the proceedings and had been advised the only penalty that could be imposed was to ban him from racetracks and gambling establishments, something he was doing voluntarily.

“My legal advisors, having engaged with the British Horseracing Authority, have been advised that even if I’m found innocent of the charges, the British Horseracing Authority will not refund my legal fees, which I have been advised would be at least STG50,000 ($A76,970) for being represented at the inquiry,” Chopra said.

“I have extensive debts and loans and simply cannot afford the amount of money necessary to clear my name, with no prospects of ever recovering my costs.

“I am not a member of the British Horseracing Authority and not subject to its Rules.

“… I understand that the only sanction that the British Horseracing Authority could impose on me is to ban me from racecourses and gambling establishments licensed by it.

“As of this year, I’ve voluntarily self-excluded myself from all betting institutions from where I live in Ipswich in order to help me fight this illness.”

Ipswich Town loaned Chopra STG 250,000 last year to help him pay his debts.

 
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