Former Newcastle and Sunderland star Michael Chopra has been charged with race-fixing by British Horseracing Authority.
The Ipswich striker, who also played for Cardiff, is charged with offering bribes to jockey Andrew Heffernan, and “conspiring to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice”.
He is alleged to have conspired with Nottingham Forest midfielder James Coppinger, 31, and former Manchester United and England Under 21 international Mark Wilson, 33, who is currently without a club after recently being recently released by Oxford.
The charges come after an investigation into suspicious betting activity that focused on races between November 1, 2010, and March 31, 2011.
Jockey Heffernan no longer rides in Britain but is licenced to ride in Australia.
Nine people including Chopra and Heffernan have been charged in connection with race-fixing by the BHA.
Chopra and four others have been charged with offering bribes to Heffernan. Three other people have been charged with other breaches of the rules of racing.
All face bans from involvement with racing for several years if the charges are found proven.
None of the others charged are public figures although one, Paul Garner, was working as a stable lad at Alan McCabe's yard when the offences were alleged to have been committed.
Paul Scotney, the BHA's integrity, compliance and licensing director, said: “The charges BHA has issued are the result of a long and complicated investigation. This process has taken significant time and resources.
“However, investigations such as these are very similar to fraud investigations and as such are complex and time consuming.”
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