Ipswich striker Chopra charged with race fixing by British Horseracing Authority

The 28-year-old, who has a long-standing gambling addiction, is alleged, along with James Coppinger and Mark Wilson, to have bribed jockey Andrew Heffernan to lose races

Ipswich Town striker Michael Chopra has been charged with race fixing by the British Horseracing Authority.

The 28-year-old, along with Nottingham Forest midfielder James Coppinger and former England Under-21 international Mark Wilson are alleged to have conspired to fix races with jockey Andrew Heffernan.

The three footballers were charged with conspiring to "commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice", whilst Chopra and Wilson were further charged with offering bribes to the Heffernan.

If found guilty, the trio face a three-year ban from horse racing, including any involvement and from attending racecourses.

The Football Association is taking a backseat, allowing the BHA to complete their enquiries, before deciding on any disciplinary action.

Jockey Heffernan, who now rides in Australia, faces five charges of corruption and could be banned for up to eight years. The charges span 12 races in 2010 and 2011.

Chopra has long-standing gambling addiction and has lost up to £2 million, with Ipswich Town paying him £250,000 when he first joined to help pay off one particular debt, and have subsequently paid wages directly to those he owes.