An insight into the types of people who bet on sport is offered by Peter Hamlyn, a solicitor who was jailed for his part in the “death penalty” attempt to fix two football matches.
What sort of people put £10,000 on a horse to win at 2-1 odds?
There is some public sympathy for them, in that they can never be accused of selling their race. But in the UK, betting on horse racing is totally legal, while the corrupt are not.
Did South African track rider Jesse Parey, aka The Jump Queen, know what she was doing when she approached Australian team boss Sean Moss to inject the horse with anabolic steroids in a bid to win a race on Australia Day last year? Or when she approached trainer Peter Moody, who has now been charged with breaching anti-doping rules?
Australian super coach Shane ‘Airlie’ Eggleston, linked to the drug scandal, had a background in illegal sports betting, and, according to the Guardian, was able to raise “significant sums” for horse races through offshore accounts.
His lawyer reportedly told a Perth court that he was “not a dope dealer”. But surely the UK, whose anti-doping rules are based on those of the International Olympic Committee, is not comparable to the US?
The reason his operation failed to tell UK Anti-Doping about the potential use of banned drugs was because the team’s CEO, James Sutherland, and cycling director at British Cycling Dave Brailsford, knew all about it.
Both are facing disciplinary hearings into the way they went about their duty of care.
Next in the story line, Lance Armstrong, currently in the process of trying to clear his name in the US courts, claimed in 2009 that track cyclist Tiffany Cromwell, who denies any wrongdoing, was a “sophisticated bookie who would provide a list of the prizemoney [Australian team manager] got for the team each year, and where it went”.
Other allegations include that he tried to arrange a race in Chicago for $1m, and helped in the rigging of the Paris-Nice race – but this was probably only something he was “incredibly naive” about, the bookmaker confessed.
There is some wider evidence that even high-level sportspeople are capable of circumventing the rules. As the Guardian pointed out, the Kiwi rugby sevens player Jamie Joseph’s car and house were seized after police raided his home because of suspicions that he had driven the car under the influence. But the main thrust of the case came because he allegedly lied to police about his race schedule.
It is also interesting to note that the US Anti-Doping Agency has not yet found doping or other improprieties in the use of supplements by sportsmen and women in Britain. But if they had, UK Sport would have no business running the Olympic programme – the Olympics are run by the IOC, not UK Sport.
Doping is rampant in other sports, including at the international level.