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Footballer issues race-fix statement

Ipswich Town striker Michael Chopra has issued a statement in connection with race-fixing charge by the by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

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Michael Chopra: Full statement

Published on the Ipswich Town website

On the 4th October 2012, the British Horseracing Authority announced that they were charging me and others with breaches of the rules of horseracing. The charges are due to be heard at a two week inquiry, which commences on the 14th January 2013.

My legal advisors, having engaged with the British Horseracing Authority, have been advised that even if I’m found innocent of the charges, the British Horseracing Authority will not refund my legal fees, which I have been advised would be at least £50,000 for being represented at the inquiry.

I have extensive debts and loans and simply cannot afford the amount of money necessary to clear my name, with no prospects of ever recovering my costs. I am not a member of the British Horseracing Authority and not subject to its Rules. I

I have been advised that the British Horseracing Authority is only allowed under its Rules to take disciplinary action against a person who is subject to those Rules, which does not include me.

Furthermore, I understand that the only sanction that the British Horseracing Authority could impose on me is to ban me from racecourses and gambling establishments licensed by it.

It is well publicised that I have a gambling addiction problem and I see any such sanctions as being a useful mechanism in helping me to address these problems. As of this year, I’ve voluntarily self-excluded myself from all betting institutions from where I live in Ipswich in order to help me fight this illness.

For the above reasons, I have decided not to present myself to the BHA inquiry.

I will be making no further comment on this matter at this stage.

– Michael Chopra

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