|The established UK online bookmakers have recently, the established UK online bookmakers have raised concerns about the supposed threat to the integrity of race betting posed by online betting exchanges. Exchanges such as Betfair have long pointed out that such arguments are self-serving and a smokescreen. If the Jockey Club’s attempts to muzzle the BBC are anything to go by, the real threat posed to UK racing could lie within the sport itself. |
raised concerns about the supposed threat to the integrity of race betting posed by online betting exchanges. Exchanges such as Betfair have long pointed out that such arguments are self-serving and a smokescreen. But If the Jockey Club’s attempts to muzzle the BBC are anything to go by, the real threat posed to UK racing could lie within the sport itself.
The BBC has won the right to include secret documents from the Jockey Club’s former security chief in an expose of corruption in British horse racing.
At a High Court hearing in London, Judge Justice Gray ruled that the BBC’s Panorama progamme could use documents supplied by Roger Buffham, former security chief for the UK racing authority.
The judge decided the move was 'in the public interest' because of the 'existence, or apparent existence, of widescale corruption within racing'.
The documents contained information said to have been from confidential sources that detailed either alleged connections between UK horse racing and various criminal elements, or alleged links between racing and Chinese gambling groups in Hong Kong and the UK.”
On May 31, the Jockey Club was granted an injunction binding Buffham to a confidentiality agreement he had signed on leaving his job in August last year.
Now the BBC has challenged the injunction and won, paving the way for a potentially damaging report on the UK racing industry, and the Jockey Clubs effectiveness.
The documentary will be broadcast during the next season of the Panorama programme, which begins next month.
Christopher Foster, executive director of the Jockey Club, said of the ruling: 'We are deeply disappointed that parts of a few highly classified intelligence documents stolen by an ex-employee and now a paid consultant to the BBC are able to enter the public domain through a side-door.
'The documents came into the hands of the BBC through breach of contract by Head of Security, Roger Buffham. His employment with the Jockey Club was terminated in September 2001 following a hearing into allegations of gross misconduct.
'As part of a settlement, he agreed to return all Jockey Club material in his possession and not to disclose any confidential information arising from investigations carried out by our Security Department.
'Mr. Buffham has broke that legal agreement.'