BBC Panorama About Greyhound Racing….

“If Chris Modsall is not banned from greyhound Racing, I will Walk away from the sport for good”
Carl Harris

Last night on BBC ONE there was a Panorama about the sport of greyhound racing. Carl Harris with some thoughts…


Anyone watching that would think that the sport is riddled with cruelty to dogs, that is not true, greyhounds in the main are highly cared for and the sport has come along way since the scandal of 2007. However I am not here to defend the sport of greyhound racing, far from it. There is plenty that needs to be done.

The idiot featured in the film, Chris Modsall should now be banned for life, He admitted it on film and not only has he put the welfare of beautiful creatures at stake, but he has also defrauded punters. Punters backed his dogs and they had no chance. Racing needs to be fair. he claims it was bravado. He is bang to rights. If he is not banned from the sport, I will walk away from it. Simple as that. 

There are several facts that emerged from the Panorama film which the sport needs to tackle. The major one is that Bookmakers control the sport. They are making money from the sport, they are the tail that wags the dog. The GBGB are in my view totally ineffective. I am not going to talk about the financial side of the sport or the politics, I have my views,and all.. I will say is that there needs to be a government investigation in to the financing of the sport ASAP.

However, the lack of money being paid in prize money has an obvious impact on welfare and the motivation of people involved to make money through other means, ie betting related activities.

What I do want to highlight is the complete lack of punishment that the GBGB dish out for drugs cheats. IF you drug a dog to cheat, whether that be to stop a dog or  enhance performance, you should be banned. Defrauding punters is a crime and to keep the sport straight, life bans need to be dished out.

The reporter is right about the penalties for drug cheats in greyhound racing. They are hardly going to deter cheats! Yes there are positives that result from food, contaminated meat etc, it happens, it is unavoidable.  But where a dog tests positive for a substance administered for cheating there should be a HUGE FINE and a ban. The sport is not deterring cheats!

Anyone in the sport putting the welfare of a greyhound at risk, of any kind should be banned from the sport. Punters need to have a clear message that when they bet they know that the sport is clean! I as every one associated in the sport know it goes on. I know of plenty of people up to no good. The authorities know it too. There is a culture of turning a blind eye in greyhound racing. It has to stop.

They must have thick floors at the GBGB. I know of plenty of incidents swept under the carpet.  There is a culture of protecting the image of the sport, not by dealing with the issues but by keeping them quiet. There are plenty of people making money out of the sport, bookmakers, tracks and there are some very shady dealings going on.

In my opinion there has to be a shake up. Ricky Holloway is featured in the Panorama programme. He talks a lot of sense. he is right that the bookmakers make £230+ million a year whilst the trainers are losing big money.

Ricky Holloway has been smeared in my book.I do not know him, but I know he cares deeply and is a decent bloke, honourable. Highly respected by people I respect. That is good enough for me.

One thing I can not get my head round is that the GBGB has a practitioners representative on the board, yet he is NOT elected to that position and does not have the support of the practitioners, yet there is NO mechanic for removing him. It beggars belief.

The media and PR function of the GBGB is beyond belief. The sport is bogged down in the mire of internal fighting, politics, welfare issues and financial questions. There is no one policing the police. In the mist of all this the sport is not being marketed, promoted or grown. The bottom line is the sport is brilliant, the people in the greyhound family are brilliant.   The greyhound is a magical creature.

Whilst watching Panorama it is sad to see, but actually much of what they say is true. Things have to change, they simply have to. The GBGB needs a shake up. It need a clear out!  It needs to improve its systems, its practices and its image.


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