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Trainers hit with lengthy bans on cobalt charges

AUSTRALIA: Trainers Mark Kavanagh and Danny O’Brien have been banned for three and four years respectively by the Racing and Appeals Disciplinary Board in Victoria over cobalt charges.

Kavanagh was outed in relation to one charge of administration of cobalt to a horse, while O’Brien was found guilty on four counts in the latest of a series of cases to rock Australian racing.

After the hearing, which also saw Dr Tom Brennan, the vet at the centre of the storm, banned for five years, O’Brien told the media both he and Kavanagh intend to appeal.

‘Long 12 months’

“We are really pleased to get this part of the process behind us,” he said. “Obviously, it’s been a long 12 months and certainly some of the process has been less than satisfactory.

“You’ll be aware that we’ve raised some real issues with how this scenario has played out. We still haven’t had any answers from Racing Victoria.

“The chief integrity officer has gone missing for, I believe it will be seven weeks, when he supposedly comes back on February 1.

Heading to tribunal

“I guess that’s probably the first time we’ll get some idea of where they stand on all this but at the end of the day, they’re really only holding back the tide for when we get to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and everything is examined properly in a real, adult court.”

Kavanagh and O’Brien were each granted an immediate stay of proceedings by VCAT.

The pair are the latest to be banned in the wake of the cobalt saga, with the highest profile case, involving trainer Peter Moody, ongoing.

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