TOWN striker Michael Chopra has been warned off racecourses for 10 years today after being branded a liar by the British Horseracing Authority.

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Chopra was found to have been part of a conspiracy involving corruption and betting exchanges by a BHA disciplinary panel.

In addition to being warned off the 29-year-old can not associate with anyone licensed by the BHA.

Eight other people including former jockey Andrew Heffernan were found to be part of the race-fixing conspiracy. Heffernan has been warned off for 15 years. The others have been disqualified for various terms from three to 12-and-a-half years.

The inquiry stated Chopra’s interviews to investigators consisted of lies, which were exposed to be “utterly untrue”.

Chopra was found in breach of committing corrupt and fraudulent practices and offering a bribe, while fellow footballer Doncaster’s James Coppinger was found guilty of corrupt and fraudulent practices.

Former England Under-21s international Mark Wilson was found in breach of committing corrupt and fraudulent practices and offering a bribe.

Five other individuals - including Chopra’s former agent Yogesh Joshee, Paul Garner, Douglas Shelley, Kelly Inglis and Pravin Shingardia - were also found in breach of the rules of racing.

The BHA disciplinary panel’s findings state: “It was plain beyond doubt to the panel that Chopra was fully engaged in the conspiracy. He did not attend the enquiry or even send in some indication of his defence in writing. Thus, his only contribution was in the interviews he gave to the BHA Investigators.

“Much of what he said in those interviews consisted of lies. His denial of knowing Heffernan or of ever speaking to him was exposed as utterly untrue.

“Chopra engaged in the conspiracy, but the allegation that he offered bribes to Heffernan was also made good.”

Heffernan was also found to have committed various offences relating to race-fixing.

The penalties against Heffernan and Chopra will be decided at a hearing which has now begun.

Chopra, who was named under his full name of Rocky Michael Chopra, had been accused of conspiring to commit fraud by placing bets or getting other betting exchange account holders to bet on horses ridden by Andrew Heffernan to gain an unfair advantage in the betting market.

Chopra also faced an allegation of offering a bribe to Heffernan.

The two horses involved in Chopra’s case were Wanchai Whisper and Silver Guest.

The alleged offences were said to have happened between November 1, 2010, and March 31, 2011, which was before Chopra joined Ipswich Town.

The charges related to Heffernan’s riding of - Wanchai Whisper, Gallantry and Silver Guest.

All nine were accused of conspiring with other persons to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice.

Chopra did not appear at the four-day hearing, which began on January 14 at BHA headquarters in London.

There is no indication at this stage that any disciplinary action will be taken against the striker by Ipswich Town Football Club.

Steve Pearce, Press Manager at ITFC, said: “This is a private matter between Michael and the British Horseracing Authority.

“Michael issued a statement before the inquiry began stating his reasons why he would not be appearing in front of the BHA.

“He has nothing further to add to that statement at this stage and wants to concentrate on an important game at Bristol City at the weekend.”

To read the full BHA report findings log on to;

www.britishhorseracing.presscentre.com/Press-Releases/Result-and-Reasons-of-Disciplinary-Panel-hearing-regarding-Andrew-Heffernan-et-al-363.aspx

27 comments

  • While some supporters may demand his sacking, based on the BHA verdict, I wonder whether the testing of evidence in their enquiry is as strong as that demanded by criminal proceedings? Of course, it is an embarrassment for the club and it will be interesting to see what line the CEOowner take. The reputation of the club has been progressively damaged over the past 5 years or so and this adds to the litany of problems stemming from less than able managment, both on and off the field. I exempt MM from that judgement as, so far, in my view he has done well with limited and largely short-term resources.

    Report this comment

    Mike Wyatt

    Friday, January 25, 2013

  • Let's hope that his cheating ways in the betting markets are restricted to horse racing and don't extend to football bets that he may have some influence over !

    Report this comment

    gaz man gaz

    Friday, January 25, 2013

  • BTW I have met 'Rocky' a couple of times and he is a nice guy, loves his football and I think he should be left to do what he is good at which is scoring goals.

    Report this comment

    Matt Nicholls

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • From moderated to "in trpilicate" in a short step'........

    Report this comment

    Mike Wyatt

    Friday, January 25, 2013

  • The B.H.A CAN'T DO ANYTHING TO CHOPRA , I CAN'T SEE ANY POINT IN WASTING PRINTING SPACE ON IT , UNLIKE MOST OF US ITS A SHAME THIS MAN WAS GIVEN A TALENT IN LIFE AND NOT A BRAIN TO GO WITH IT ,

    Report this comment

    MIGUEL100

    Friday, January 25, 2013

  • I have no idea if this guy is a liar or not when it comes to the gee gee's. You have to be a right mug to follow them I do know that. I do however remember him stating that he was going to be our 30 goal a season man after he came back from his vacation in the States at the clubs expense. Wish I had put a bet on that!!

    Report this comment

    floridaboy1

    Friday, January 25, 2013

  • Can't get rid of him. Don't forget he has to pay off the reported £250,000 loan the Club gave him.

    Report this comment

    Brian Betts

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • And I might also point out that the alleged offences happened before Chopra was a Town player, so even if they wanted to they couldn't punish him for something he did while in the employ of another club.

    Report this comment

    Andrew Mehen

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • Firstly I would say that initially at least I had some sympathy for Chopra & his addiction. However the fact remains that the club supported him to the hilt on this - including a huge 'loan' & continued to involve him while in the priory & specialist pre season in the USA. Instead of seeming to appreciate this he was involved in such things as going AWOL to a nightclub in Newcastle & being banned from driving for speeding - all of which seem to have affected his performances on the pitch. I realise this case relates to before him joining the club but does not alter the situation that he seems to have taken our support as weakness. I suppose we should just be grateful that Jewell was unsuccessful in signing Coppinger & we must now await the trial of Taylor to see what other disgrace can be brought on the club - all at a time when we are releasing a true gent in Jason Scotland - no wonder the clubs reputation continues to plummet !!

    Report this comment

    Old Timer

    Friday, January 25, 2013

  • Matt Nicholls if he was good at scoring goals we might give him a chance he is as good at scoring as he was a liar not at all hence why he is now being given further investigation. Must be a concern that he is in a position to change matches for betting purposes so it must be better for the club that he is given the push not sure anyone would take him though.

    Report this comment

    finchk702

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • AT LEAST YOUR COMMENTS GET PRINTED LIZ , MINE DON'T , DON'T THINK THIS PAPER LIKE PRINTING THE TRUTH ..

    Report this comment

    MIGUEL100

    Friday, January 25, 2013

  • While some supporters may demand his sacking, based on the BHA verdict, I wonder whether the testing of evidence in their enquiry is as strong as that demanded by criminal proceedings? Of course, it is an embarrassment for the club and it will be interesting to see what line the CEOowner take. The reputation of the club has been progressively damaged over the past 5 years or so and this adds to the litany of problems stemming from less than able managment, both on and off the field. I exempt MM from that judgement as, so far, in my view he has done well with limited and largely short-term resources.

    Report this comment

    Mike Wyatt

    Friday, January 25, 2013

  • Poll: Should a newspaper be suggesting that a professional footballer gets sacked? YesNoNone of their business

    Report this comment

    Bleeding Blue

    Friday, January 25, 2013

  • Why should Ipswich sack MC and on what grounds? I think that the statement made by his legal representative was quite clear and correct. End of story.

    Report this comment

    MOTT MIKE

    Friday, January 25, 2013

  • Let the bloke go. He's done nothing for us, and if i was as useless in my job as he is in his i would have been sacked years ago. Cant even be sure that his heart is in what he's doing at present. Get rid, easy as.

    Report this comment

    bismark

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • While some supporters may demand his sacking, based on the BHA verdict, I wonder whether the testing of evidence in their enquiry is as strong as that demanded by criminal proceedings? Of course, it is an embarrassment for the club and it will be interesting to see what line the CEOowner take. The reputation of the club has been progressively damaged over the past 5 years or so and this adds to the litany of problems stemming from less than able managment, both on and off the field. I exempt MM from that judgement as, so far, in my view he has done well with limited and largely short-term resources.

    Report this comment

    Mike Wyatt

    Friday, January 25, 2013

  • MC might be a 'nice guy' but if he continually exposes himself to criticism for his off field actions then it should be a club matter in respect of discipline. As to what he is supposed to do best, score goals, there has been very little evidence this season. How can his mind be focused on his job with so much 'baggage' he carries ? So much for his claim pre season on his predicted goal target for this season !!!!!!

    Report this comment

    Brian Betts

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • WOW! It took Ged Scott, Sorry Rob Steroo. Hang on Ged Steroo, that's it, a whole 11 comments to say something! If the club stick with MC, he will have to repay the fans as well as the club for sticking by him! A very good point in the fact that he has a a talent, but hasn't got a brain to back it up when it matter's most! Probably left it on the self-service checkouts when picking his burger up as a pre-match meal at a certain supermarket! :-) Only time will tell. COYB!

    Report this comment

    Blue and true

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • Chopra is no saint but deserves the chance, like anybody, to put past mistakes behind him. What makes me laugh is the way the BHA are portrayed in this. The maximum sanction they could enforce is this ban. No fine, the CPS weren't remotely interested since he hasn't actually committed a crime, so I fail to see how anyone could expect the club to to anything more than they have, which is support an employee and show this case for what it is; of little interest and consequence.

    Report this comment

    Andrew Mehen

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • Good old narwich based Archant up to their usual devious anti and divisive antics regarding Ipswich Town FC the Club, players and their fans eh ! Your gutter rag should be thoroughly ashamed of this campaign to get a player the sack, when his Club (employer) clearly are continuing to support him on and off the field and back him in his fight against an addiction that is an illness. Of course as a so often self proclaimed "local " paper in which you often congratulate yourselves to be a champion and supporting paper serving local issues, you could have run a story line about how local club, Ipswich Town FC have continued to back one its employees fight their addiction problem - maybe even run one of your usual unrepresentative polls about that angle! But no, you decide to run a report and conjure up a poll asking if the player should be sacked culminating in a claim emblazoned around the town on your bill boards stating, "Town fans want Chopra sacked" . You claim this on the back of a statistically insignificant and unrepresentative poll of the true population and is a totally incorrect claim. EADT ARCHANT = Consistently "anti" Ipswich Town, consistently misrepresenting the Club, its players its fans, and continues to be divisive in its intent. You are, and will continue to be an UTTER DISGRACE as a so called "local" paper. Do us all a favour and report on YOUR "local" city in the EDP!

    Report this comment

    Liz Knott

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • WOW! It took Ged Scott, Sorry Rob Steroo. Hang on Ged Steroo, that's it, a whole 11 comments to say something! If the club stick with MC, he will have to repay the fans as well as the club for sticking by him! A very good point in the fact that he has a a talent, but hasn't got a brain to back it up when it matter's most! Probably left it on the self-service checkouts when picking his burger up as a pre-match meal at a certain supermarket! :-) Only time will tell. COYB!

    Report this comment

    Blue and true

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • Has this paper got nothing newsworthy to report on?And as for "the poll", dear God , get a life you lot !

    Report this comment

    Liz Knott

    Friday, January 25, 2013

  • Really? Sack him because he is a liar. Where shall I start: Politicians Bankers Estate agents Used car salesmen and after a recent incident Traffic wardens. The list is endless. This makes Chops very small beer. As the saying goes "Let he without guilt cast the first stone" Horse racing has always been suspect.

    Report this comment

    Rex Ide

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • I seem to remember some of your readers urging Evans to stump up something like £3.5million to buy Chopra on Keane's say so. I seem to remember the EADT ignoring his known problems when Town later made the idiotic mistake of signing him. Given this your article is crass in the extreme.

    Report this comment

    Rob Steroo

    Friday, January 25, 2013

  • How much further can this guy drag this clubs name through the mud. Get rid !

    Report this comment

    KEVIN FRANCIS

    Friday, January 25, 2013

  • Why shouldn't we sack Michael Chopra, well jockey's have been found guilty over the years of race fixing and whilst most suffer a ban none are actually sacked, they may lose their particular status with a stable, but they generally don't lose their livelyhood. Besides, he still owes ME a considerable amount of money and if the owner had any sense when he loaned him the £250,000 he would have taken it directly from Chopra's wages. Also in view of all this he still owes the fans more than he has given so far. Don't most fans think we have given enough players away as well without showing him the door. Footballers are in a privileged position, they often have more money thrown at them than they are worth or need, a lot of famous, much more famous than Chopra, footballers have either fell into drink, drugs or gambling, should we feel sorry for them, well a majority of hard working people would say no. But if we were in their situation would we fall into the same traps, some would, some would not. But whilst not condoning Chopra for what he has done I believe it to be counter productive to sack him.

    Report this comment

    whymarkmariner

    Friday, January 25, 2013

  • The comment of Steve Pearce represents a remarkably crass piece of PR - take that either way - Public Realations or Portman Rd. Is the club now so remote from its supporters - payiing customers - that this arrogant assertion is the norm?

    Report this comment

    Mike Wyatt

    Friday, January 25, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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