Footballers facing race-fixing probe

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Three footballers are among nine people that are facing a race-fixing probe by the British Horseracing Authority, which is set to get underway today (January 14th).

Ipswich's Michael Chopra, Doncaster winger James Coppinger and former Manchester United player Mark Wilson have all be accused of "serious breaches of the rules of horse racing".

Jockey Andrew Heffernan is also among those that have been charged and the allegations focus on the gambling on horses to lose.

Chopra, who has freely admitted that he has a gambling problem, stated last week that he would not be attending the hearing because he couldn't afford the legal fees.

He and others are accused of using inside information from Heffernan to bet.

If found guilty, the accused face disqualifications from any involvement in racing.

BBC horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght commented: "The British Horseracing Authority wants punters to feel 100 per cent confident when having a bet and in that pursuit a budget of £19 million was available in 2011 for policing and associated activities."

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