HARNESS CHIEF: 99 PERCENT OF US ARE HONEST

The harness racing industry says the sector shouldn’t be judged by the acts of a few.

Three more people were arrested yesterday, as part of a police probe into alleged match-fixing and drug dealing, bringing the total number of arrests to ten.

Harness Racing New Zealand chief executive Edward Rennell told Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking the allegations are isolated, and don’t reflect the industry as a whole.

“The problem appears to be contained to Canterbury, and most of the industry is made up of honest, hard-working, loyal people.

“If people have transgressed it needs to be sorted.”

He said he was confident the industry would emerge strongly from the scandal.

A harness race in Nelson is one of more than 10 being investigated by police.

Those charged to date are trainer/drivers Blair Orange, John Dunn, Nigel McGrath, Natalie Rasmussen, Matt Anderson, Andrew Stuart, Manawatū thoroughbred racing administrator Brent Wall, Christchurch hairdresser Elie Georges Sawma and another two who cannot be named.

The Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) has also moved to bar all those charged by police from attending race meetings, workouts and trials.

Racing writer Barry Lichter said:   ”We can only speculate at the moment on just what the National Organised Crime Group has uncovered in the last 17 months but their email and text searches must be persuasive.

”Their unprecedented raids have scanned three provinces and included trainers, drivers and punters suggesting they have some evidence of collusion,” he wrote.