BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Other Sports: Horse Racing  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
Statistics
US Sport
Horse Racing
Snooker
Sailing
Cycling
Skiing
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Saturday, 5 October, 2002, 18:55 GMT 19:55 UK
Jockey Club 'powerless to act'

Panorama's expose of alleged corruption in racing is alarming in the way it targets the activities of leading jockeys, trainers and bookmakers.

But those in the industry will not be packing their bags and moving away quite yet.

The programme did not strike me as extraordinarly explosive. Nor is it about to rip the sport apart.

The idea that the industry might fall to pieces in the aftermath is nonsense - a lot of people think the sport is a bit bent anyway.

In fact there are dodgy goings on in every walk of life, it's just that people don't bet on them.

And that's where the major difference is here.


The key figure behind the doping and race-fixing would never have got into the sport had the Jockey Club had stronger powers

In truth the Jockey Club is in a far better position than it was a few years ago.

The idea that it was run by port-swilling people with double-barrelled surnames had an element of truth. But it's changed drastically.

Quite a lot of the claims made in the programme are ancient history.

I feel the Jockey Club has already successfully addressed and answered a lot of what has been put before it.

So I don't think it has come out with its reputation in tatters.

Graham Bradley
If guilty, Graham Bradley could face a ban

The power brokers at Portland Square (the Jockey Club's headquarters) needed to act faster and undoubtedly need to be more open in the future.

And there are some other things aside from that which need to change.

The Jockey Club needs to ensure it's as clean as it possibly can be and racing has to work harder on its image.

I would not be surprised if they are advertising for a new head of security on Tuesday after the Panorama performance of Jeremy Phipps.

Phipps came across as a complete clown and was the typical former caricature of a Jockey Club official.

He made himself out to be little more than a buffoon and his employers have done their best to save his neck.

But I doubt they'll stand by him for long.

More power needed

As for Christopher Foster, the Jockey Club's executive director, his position is absolutely fine.

There's no reason for him to resign.

But another thing that needs to change drastically is the powers of the Jockey Club.

For much of what Panorama suggested, they were powerless to act.

They need more power to regulate betting and act over wrongdoings and I believe that will come.

Brian Wright, the key figure behind much of the alleged doping and race-fixing, would never have got into the sport had the Jockey Club had stronger powers back then.

As to the jockeys, Graham Bradley, another accused of wrongdoing, he faces disciplinary proceedings.

If found in breach of the rules he will be out of the sport for some time, as will Barrie Wright, another jockey caught up in this mess.

The programme mentions 20 jockeys in total and, if that's the case, they should give out the names and they too should face a similar expulsion from racing.

But I doubt it is 20, or a generation of jockeys as they put it.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Cornelius Lysaght
"The Jockey Club must be more open in every aspect"

The fall-out

Expert reaction

Background

Have your say
Links to more Horse Racing stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Horse Racing stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales