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Racing Victoria defends waiting a week to lay charges against Damien Oliver

Posted by: 3AW News | 13 November, 2012 - 9:33 AM
Damien Oliver (FFX)

Racing Victoria chief executive has defended the fact independent stewards waited one week to lay charges against jockey Damien Oliver, despite media reports detailing an admission of betting on a rival horse appearing in The Age on Melbourne Cup Day.

Damien Oliver subsequently rode 2010 Melbourne Cup winner, Americain, to 11th place last week.

CEO Rob Hines told Sports Today it wasn't his place to question why charges had not been laid when Damien Oliver's admission came to light.

"I don't know if the question was asked and I shouldn't know because these stewards are in independent panel set up to follow due process, I'm not going to interfere with that," he said.

"Are we going to stand down or accuse people based on rumour or press reports? Or are we going to follow due process and get the evidence?"

Mr Hines denied suggestions stewards waiting until after the Melbourne Cup Carnival's conclusion to lay charges, and said it would not have been an embarrassment to the state's racing body if Damien Oliver had ridden Americain to victory.

"To suggest we're putting the image of racing ahead of integrity is just wrong," he said.

"If we were trying to sweep everything under the carpet, we wouldn't have been legging stewards over walls and doing raids on stables all through the Spring Carnival.

"I feel it an absurd accusation really."

Mr Hines said trainers had been caught treating horses on three of the four Melbourne Cup Carnival race days.

Racing Victoria chief executive Rob Hines said they only received a written admission from the champion jockey yesterday, saying he had bet on a rival horse in a race he had ridden in.

Damien Oliver will face a stewards’ enquiry on 20th November after being formally charged this morning.

Stewards have issued two charges against Damian Oliver: one for betting and one for having a mobile phone in the jockeys' room after he made admissions that he bet on a rival horse.

In a statement Racing Victoria said: "The admission and charges follow an investigation by stewards into allegations Mr Oliver bet on favourite and race winner Miss Octopussy at Moonee Valley on 1 October 2010, a race in which he finished sixth on second favourite Europa Point." 

He has now been stood down from riding ahead of the hearing.

If found guilty, Oliver could be banned from riding for up to a year.

LISTEN: Racing Victoria chief executive Rob Hines speaks with Sports Today:

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Blog comments Your Say

  • Gimme a break guys, the man's a confessed crook. Sure he is a brilliant rider, but he's still a cheat. Are we supposed to sweep this stuff under the carpet? If so then we condone corruption.

    Polyphemus. Tuesday 20 November, 2012 - 1:14 AM
  • A stupid mistake at a time when in a bad place, a super sportsman & bloke the rest of the time. Racing would be nothing without people like Damien Oliver. Current stewards with there Bully yes sir no sir attitude toward jockey's & trainers has set the sport back 50 years. Bring back Des I say, he did more to break down the barriers than anyone, now his good work has been wasted. Jockeys are hard working & talented sportsmen and should be treated with some respect.

    George munro Tuesday 13 November, 2012 - 10:51 PM
  • bring back des gleeson he had the look That was enough to scare anyone Your a legend Des

    barry Tuesday 13 November, 2012 - 8:53 PM
  • Go OLLIE,I will you always back you. I only hope they catch the "REST"

    IAN Tuesday 13 November, 2012 - 4:49 PM

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