We all know harness racing has been hard hit by the news coming out in the last week or so and I wouldn’t want to go into the ins and outs of all the evidence that has emerged so far. That is for others to decide
However I feel I must comment on some aspects of how the case has been handled.
I think I can say that in that I have been a victim of some aspects of the media coverage which I think has been overly sensational and judgmental before any of the evidence had been properly evaluated.
I can’t help noticing that harness racing seems to judged by different standards compared to other sports and businesses in these circumstances. Innocent until proven guilty is the law but you couldn’t say that was the attitude of some commentators and authorities in connection with this case. Our industry deserves better .
From the personal viewpoint there were photos of me in the media as soon as the story broke and the property on television news when nobody at All Stars was ever involved in a race fixing inquiry.
Names were being published before any court appearances had been made In my experience other industries are not treated like that. It seems they have no respect for harness racing.
In my view the media has quite a lot to answer for over these events. They seem to have a double standard when it comes to racing.
I looked at the people involved in court last week on the various charges and thought how well presented all of them were and how most are high achievers who have made something of their lives. They may prove to have done something wrong but they seemed out of place in a courtroom.
I have been in harness racing a long time and consider it clean.
As in all businesses things happen from time to time. However what some might be sure they see from the stands is not always what is really happening in the race. I believe harness racing deserves more respect for its overall record.
That is why I am also disappointed at the lack of support to date from the code leaders for some of the most successful people in harness racing who have not yet been found guilty of anything. This treatment does not seem to happen in the thoroughbred code.
I can understand people questioning aspects of our industry and have no problems with those questions being properly answered.
But to see people treated so shabbily before anything has been through the courts of law is extremely disappointing.