HAWICK jockey Greg Fairley is among 13 people accused of corruption in horse racing.
The 23-year-old former champion apprentice, who won 85 races in 2009, is accused of “intentionally failing to ensure that his horse was run on its merits”. It is also alleged that he “communicated directly or indirectly to one or more betting exchange account holders, for material reward, gift, favour or benefit in kind, information relating to the prospects of the named horse.”
Fairley has been charged along with fellow jockeys Paul Doe, Kirsty Milczarek and Jimmy Quinn, former rider Paul Fitzsimons, owners Maurice Sines and James Crickmore, and six others: Peter Gold, Nick Gold, Shaun Harris, David Kendrick, Darren May and Liam Vasey.
The bombshell, which has rocked the sport, was revealed following a British Horseracing Authority investigation into suspicious betting activity.
Fairley could face a three-year ban if found guilty of “corrupt or fraudulent practice”, six months if he has breached betting and inside information rules, or three years if guilty of passing information for reward.
But the toughest penalty would be for “deliberately not riding a horse to obtain the best possible placing for personal reward or knowing it has been laid to lose”, which carries a ban of between five and 25 years.
The BHA’s acting chief executive, Chris Brand, said: “The charges issued by the authority are the result of a lengthy, detailed and complex investigation, following suspicious betting activity on more than one betting exchange and with traditional bookmakers.
“It is of course of utmost importance that those charged are given a fair hearing and the opportunity to defend themselves and we will therefore make no further comment at this stage.”
The Professional Jockey Association has recommended that the jockeys in question seek legal representation.