British Horseracing Authority expands whistleblowing policy

29 March 2019

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has published an updated version of its whistleblowing policy as part of an effort to clamp down on issues that threaten the integrity of the sport.

Previously only available to BHA staff, the policy is now open to anyone involved at any level of British horse racing and allows them to report concerns relating to the running of the BHA or the actions or activities of its employees, officials and directors.

The policy sets out a number of examples of malpractice or wrongdoing that can be reported including criminal offences such as fraud, the misappropriation of funds and corrupt conduct by BHA officials, sharing inside-information or race-fixing.

Other examples set out under the scheme include the failure to declare potential or actual conflict of interest when required to do so, BHA staff failing to adhere to standards or policies in relation to gifts and bribery, officials covering up wrong-doing, improper endangerment to human or horse participant welfare, as well as bullying, harassment or other forms of discrimination.

“This update to the BHA’s whistleblowing policy is designed to protect those involved in horseracing or who come into contact with the BHA against potential wrongdoing, as was the case with the safeguarding policy launched in December,” director of legal and governance at the BHA, Catherine Beloff, said.

The BHA also sets out how the updated policy will work with a number of its other schemes, including its Safeguarding Policy that is designed to protect anyone involved in British racing from potential wrongdoing.

Although the whistleblowing policy does not apply to people or organisations that are not run by the BHA – such as jockeys, trainers and owners – the BHA has said that anyone with concerns over wrongdoing in the sport can shares this via its RaceStraight online and phone reporting service.

“Whether you are a member of BHA staff, a participant or a member of the public, there is now a secure and defined method by which you can report any concerns relating to the running of the BHA or the conduct of its employees, which can also be anonymous if you wish,” Beloff added.

“It is also vital that as the governing body and regulator the BHA is accountable, and this policy now allows anyone who is either involved in racing or comes into contact with the BHA at any level to report any potential concerns.”

Image: Richard Humphrey