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

Monday, 7 October, 2002, 17:49 GMT 18:49 UK
Jockey Club rejects Panorama claims
Race horses work out on the gallops
Racing has come under close scrutiny this year
The Jockey Club has hit back over claims of corruption in racing made on the BBC's Panorama programme on Sunday night.

The programme made allegations concerning race-fixing, dubious betting networks and jockeys mixing with criminals.

And producer Stephen Scott said on Monday that the Panorama team were considering making a second programme about alleged corruption in the sport.

In response to Sunday's programme, the Jockey Club claimed that Roger Buffham, its former head of security who was the BBC's chief informant, has "an axe to grind".

Jockey Club public relations director John Maxse insisted that the Club had done everything in its power to eliminate corruption from racing.

"We are a very active regulator and when there is evidence we will bring charges against those who have corrupted the sport," he said.


Clearly the Jockey Club as an institution isn't capable of running racing
Labour MP
Alan Meale

"I do think it's important and it's difficult to sound like you're not whining.

"But Roger Buffham worked for us for nine years and he left the Jockey Club in very acrimonious circumstances last year and he could well be accused of having an axe to grind.

"Something was amiss, but the allegation we did nothing about it is incorrect."

Maxse's comments were echoed by the Jockey Club's Senior Steward, Christopher Spence, in a statement on the organisation's website.

Spence, who has been criticised for being out of the country at a time when the Jockey Club has come under such close scrutiny, said the programme was "flawed".

He said this was due to its "over-reliance on discredited witnesses with their own agendas".

He added: "It was not made clear enough to the viewers that much of the material analysed related to incidents which took place between five and 15 years ago, well before many new measures were introduced to protect racing's integrity and deter corruption."

Michael Caulfield, chief executive of the Jockeys Association of Great Britain, rejected Buffham's assertion that "a whole generation of National Hunt jockeys had close links to organised crime".

"The main allegation made was that there was a generation of corrupt jockeys and that simply isn't true," Caulfield told the attheraces television channel.

Robust defence

"There's no evidence to back that up and it's a shame that you still hear an ex-employee of the Jockey Club going on that there was a corrupt group of jockeys.

"That was his main mission and he was not successful in that mission due to, I'm afraid, a lack in the standard of evidence, and you can't ignore that fact throughout this programme."

Labour MP Alan Meale has been campaigning for changes in the way racing is run and he dismissed the Jockey Club's response to the programme.

"In my opinion, the Jockey Club as an institution isn't capable of running racing," he said.

No action

"I think there was a whole host of evidence that was actually presented in the programme, which they've been aware of for a very long time and done nothing about.

"Some of these investigations, some of the evidence that was presented to them, went back six or seven years.

"They've been told by their own security leader about these problems but it seems to me they just pushed it under the carpet."

Panorama producer Scott said another programme containing further details of alleged corruption could be made.

"We are still working on the possibility of a second programme," he said.

He claimed that the allegations made in Sunday night's show were "the tip of an iceberg".

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght
"The Jockey Club must be more open"
Jockey Club public relations director John Maxse
"The vast majority of racing is straight"
Jockey Kieren Fallon
"I think the sport is fair"
 VOTE RESULTS
Is horse racing corrupt?

Yes
 88.96% 

No
 11.04% 

9829 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

The fall-out

Expert reaction

Background

Have your say
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

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