Racing industry officials are mystified by allegations in an article in today’s Christchurch Press that police and the Racing Integrity Unit are conducting an investigation into race fixing.
The front page article, written by investigative reporter Martin Van Beynen, does not name which racing code is being investigated but the inference is that it involves Canterbury harness racing.
The article alleges that the investigation is ‘focusing on claims multiple races were fixed by industry participants for the benefit of a group of gamblers’ and despite the refusal by police and the RIU to comment, ‘sources have confirmed the investigation is under way but in its early stages’.
Harness Racing New Zealand chief executive Edward Rennell told www.theinformant.co.nz that the first he knew of any supposed investigation was when he was contacted late yesterday by Cambridge-based Drivers and Trainers’ Association president and HRNZ Board member Rob Lawson, informing him that he had been contacted by the media for comment.
“It’s complete news to us at Harness Racing New Zealand,” Rennell said. “If there is anything untoward that requires investigation we would hope that the RIU is doing its job, but at this point we are unaware of anything.”
When spoken to by www.theinformant.co.nz, RIU general manager Mike Godber said that it is the policy of police and the RIU to neither confirm or deny whether any investigations were under way.
“That is a position we maintain as a matter of policy,” Godber said. “The newspaper article is based on innuendo and rumour with no names or substance, just a source.”