September 2 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Ipswich Town striker Michael Chopra has been charged with race fixing by the British Horseracing Authority.
The Blues centre forward is one of three footballers accused of conspiring to fix races between November 1, 2010 and March 2011.
The 28-year-old, who signed for Ipswich in June 2011, is alleged to have conspired with Nottingham Forest midfielder James Coppinger, and former Manchester United and England under-21 international Mark Wilson, currently unattached, and jockey Andrew Heffernen to fix races.
Chopra, Wilson and Coppinger - who was a former Town target - are all charged with conspiring to “commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice” under the rules of racing.
If found guilty of the charges they face long bans from involvement with racing, including attending racecourses or talking to licensed individuals. The entry-level for the offences is a three-year ban.
Heffernan, who is now based in Australia, faces five charges of corruption, including one of stopping a horse, one of accepting a bribe and two of breaking the rules regarding the use of inside information
Chopra, Coppinger and Wilson are alleged to have been part of a fixing operation that also included five other individuals not licensed under the rules of racing.
The charges follow an investigation into suspicious betting activity on a number of races by the British Horseracing Authority.
The allegations focus on horses being laid to lose on betting exchanges in races that took place between November 1, 2010 and March, 31 2011.
Chopra has a long-standing gambling addiction and, in Ocotber last year, spoke of his struggle to overcome his habit.