‘We will stamp out cheating’

Racing Victoria chiefs say that trainers who try to cheat their integrity investigators will be caught and that no number of counter-surveillance measures will stop rogue elements being found out.
Shanghai night field

Fairfax Media’s revelation of a sophisticated range of techniques employed by cheats in a bid to avoid detection has put a spotlight on the murky world of racing’s underbelly.

Racing’s detectives have disclosed that some trainers post lookouts with mobile phones at the gates to their property to provide advance warning about raids by investigators. Other staff are used to delay and stall investigators and prevent them gaining immediate access to the property under surveillance.

Some trainers employed less visible but more sophisticated methods such as establishing two sets of medical and treatment records for the animals in their care to hide illicit actions.

Bernard Saundry, the new chief executive of Racing Victoria, made it clear last week when he took over the reins that his priority was to clean up the sport – both trainers who cheat and jockeys who bet, such as now disgraced champion Damien Oliver, banished for eight months following his admission of a gambling offence.

When questioned on Monday about the creativity of those trying to beat the system, Saundry said that such evidence only showed the scale of the challenge the Integrity Services Department team faced in trying to nail offenders.

“It’s not rife to our knowledge, but it does happen. I don’t think it [such concerted efforts to fool the integrity services operation] is deeply embedded in our racing culture but it does go on. People use all sorts of strategies to try to manipulate the system, and we are determined to stamp it out.

“The stewards and the integrity department will do whatever they need to do, but you have to remember we are also battling with human nature. Some people go to extraordinary lengths to achieve what they want,” Saundry said.

“Its not just in racing. Look at other sports, look at the business world, where people break the law, look at how individuals operate at the margins with their tax or try to avoid it completely. Nothing is surprising in human nature, but we are determined to make sure those who break the rules get caught.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.


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