Horse Racing - Chopra charged with race fixing

Ipswich Town's Michael Chopra is one of nine people charged by the British Horseracing Authority with "serious breaches of the rules of racing".

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Michael Chopra

Jockey Andrew Heffernan is also among those charged with offences relating to horses being laid to lose on betting exchanges in races that took place between 1st November 2010 and 31st March 2011.

The 28-year-old Chopra is one of three footballers being charged, with Nottingham Forest midfielder James Coppinger and former Manchester United starlet and England U21 player Mark Wilson also named.

The BHA's statement says that 24-year-old Heffernan - who is currently only licensed to ride in Australia - is accused of telling the other eight details about his horses' chances in races, while the eight are charged with placing bets on those horses based on that information.

Heffernan is also accused of soliciting and taking bribes, and for having "intentionally failed to ensure that a horse ridden by him was run on its merits". Three horses are named in the statement: Wanchai Whisper, Gallantry and Silver Guest, who were reportedly taking part in races at races at Lingfield, Kempton, Wolverhampton and Southwell.

If found guilty, Heffernan could be banned for eight years, while Chopra and the other people being charged face bans of at least three years from any involvement with racing.

Chopra has previously admitted to gambling addiction, claiming that he has lost between £1.5 and £2 million. He received treatment for his problem last year at the Sporting Chance clinic.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the FA is aware of the allegations, but will wait for the outcome of the BHA proceedings before taking any action of its own.

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