Australian jockey, Ben Melham could face a two-year minimum suspension if convicted of gambling allegations. The 32-year old will continue to ride until his case is heard by the Victoria Racing Tribunal. However, this also is subject to change should any new evidence arise.
Melham has been hit with a series of integrity charges. All six of them are associated with violation of gambling rules, involving a total of over $21,000 in bets. Allegedly, many of the bets were placed in times when Ben Melham was out of competition due to a wrist injury that occurred in March 2019. Whereas some bets were placed later in the same year.
The star jockey is also prosecuted for giving misleading or false evidence to stewards at the time of their interrogation. Melham’s partner, Karlie Dales is also facing charges, as according to stewards, he used her accounts to place bets.
Ben Melham is the latest professional jockey and a high-profile athlete that is facing penalties due to breaching wagering rules. In 2012, his colleague, Damien Oliver was banned from horse racing after he placed an AU$10,000 bet on a horse he was competing against. A similar case to Ben Melham would be James McDonald, when he was convicted in 2015 with an 18-month suspension after breaching betting regulations.