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Race Fixing Inquiry Launched By Integrity Chief
Meanwhile, in a direct response to recent allegations of racing fixing, an inquiry has been launched by the office of Victoria's Racing Integrity Commissioner reports au.sports.yahoo.com. A "wide-ranging investigation" has already been undertaken by Victoria Police "into a number of the state's top jockeys and leading industry figures, accused of conspiring to fix the outcome of a race at Cranbourne in April last year". Included in the allegations is "the release of inside information to punters". In a significant announcement, Integrity Commisioner Sal Perna has stated "his office will hold its own inquiry into the thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing industries". Central to the investigation will be clarifying whether "racing fixing is a systemic issue or if allegations are an isolated case". Mr Perna commented, "My view is that when you have an industry that is so big, there are going to be pockets of inappropriate behaviour, breaching of rules and in some cases criminal activity... The ongoing media publicity has the potential to damage the reputation of an industry that I hold in high regard." It is understood that Mr Perna will have neither "coercive powers", or "access to police phone tap records" but will canvass both the general public and racing industry participants. Running from next Monday until September 14, police will be forwarded the results of the inquiry and "people giving evidence can remain anonymous". Rob Hines, Racing Victoria Chief Executive commented; "We monitor every single one of those races, the racing pattern and the betting pattern. There is not a systemic issue in racing." Racing Minister Denis Napthine supported the implementation of Mr Perna and his office, noting, "Mr Perna's already got a proven track record of producing very, very good inquiries".