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Racing Industry Must Address Integrity

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
John Carter
John Carter

Integrity issues in the racing industry must be addressed in a professional and independent way, Racing Minister John Carter said today in a speech at the Judicial Control Authority for Racing conference.

"There must be no suggestions of cronyism," Mr Carter said.

"Indiscretions must not be ignored because of the value to the industry of people involved. Integrity issues must be addressed in a professional and independent way. And there must always be an independent judicial system for a fair trial.

"If integrity issues in racing are not vigilantly addressed, everyone who makes their living from this industry is adversely affected.

"Every time another person turns their back on racing because they perceive it is not a 'clean' sport; that move impacts on the incomes of those who make their living from this industry.

"Participation is critical to the viability of racing. That is, people owning horses, people attending race meetings and people wanting to bet on horses with the TAB.

"And participation is at a critical point. New Zealand racing faces a wagering decline of $1.2 billion in the past 25 years.

"People will not invest in an industry - with time or money - if they don't believe in its integrity.

"So I am backing industry leaders 100 percent in their moves to act to address drug use and other integrity issues in racing.

"A decision was made in June this year to establish a new, independent Racing Integrity Unit and it is on track to be operational from February next year (2011).

"This new model of integrity services will give more independence to the "policing" of racing. Making the rule-making, policing and the judicial systems independent and transparent is critical to the integrity of racing.

"It is essential that the industry backs its leaders with an understanding that perceptions around the racing industry and corruption need addressing."

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