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Heffernan present at start of BHA hearing

FORMER jockey Andrew Heffernan was among those to attend yesterday's start of what could be a lengthy British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel hearing over breaches of the rules of racing.

Eight unlicensed individuals also face corruption charges, headed by three footballers in Ipswich Town's Michael Chopra, former Manchester United player Mark Wilson and Doncaster Rovers winger James Coppinger.

The other five names are Yogesh Joshee, Paul Garner, Kelly Inglis, Douglas Shelley and Pravin Shingadia.

Ten working days have been set aside for the hearing, followed by a period of consideration by the panel.

Heffernan has been charged with communicating for reward information to betting exchange account holders over the prospects of horses he was riding in races, and unlicenced individuals acted on that information.

He is also charged with failing to ensure a horse ridden by him ran on its merits.

Chopra released a statement earlier this month revealing that he could not afford to defend himself at the hearing and would welcome a ban so he could overcome a gambling addiction problem. He, along with Garner, Joshee, Shelley and Wilson have also been charged with offering bribes to Heffernan.