High levels of cobalt were found in several Australian runners in 2014, four of whom were trained by Danny O'Brien and the fifth by Mark Kavanagh. Last January, the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board handed down lengthy suspensions based on the charges, four years for O'Brien and three years for Kavanagh. According to abc.net.au, both suspensions have now been overturned by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), which found that Racing Victoria had deviated from proper testing protocols.
Judge Greg Garde also determined that the two trainers were “not negligent,” because they were not aware that veterinarian Dr. Tom Brennan had administered the cobalt in the horses' pre-race “drips.” Last year, Brennan was issued a lifetime ban from the sport.
“It's time [Victorian Racing Minister] Martin Pakula took a hard look at what's happening in the racing industry in this state,” said O'Brien, adding that the decision “had thrown a light on the behavior of Racing Victoria, the breaches of the rules that they in fact have engineered throughout this process.”
Read more at abc.net.au.
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