Former United midfielder Wilson guilty in racing corruption inquiry

10:00am Saturday 26th January 2013

Former Oxford United midfielder Mark Wilson is one of three footballers, along with jockey Andrew Heffernan, to have been given lengthy bans from racing after a corruption inquiry. Wilson and Ipswich Town’s Michael Chopra (pictured left) were given ten-year bans, while Doncaster winger James Coppinger received a three-year suspension for breaching racing’s rules. Heffernan has been disqualified for 15 years.

The 33-year-old Wilson, who made six appearances for United last season, including the 2-0 derby win over Swindon Town at the Kassam Stadium, was among nine people found guilty in an investigation by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) into gambling on horses to lose.

The disqualifications mean none of those found guilty can attend licensed racing premises such as racecourses or stables during the period of their bans, or have contact with licensed persons.

In some cases, thousands of pounds were staked.

While Wilson, an ex-England under 21 international made more than £14,000 profit from four bets, he also lost £12,122 in one wager when a horse he backed to be unplaced actually finished second. Bans totalling 70 years were given and BHA spokesman Andrew Brickell said: “an elaborate network of corruption had been identified and successfully prosecuted.” The nine races at the centre of the investigation, in which Heffernan’s beaten mounts were laid to lose on betting exchanges, took place between November 1 2010 and March 31 2011.

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