Tue, Nov 13, 2:09pm by Kevin Pitstock
According to a statement released by Victorian Racing Minister Dr Denis Napthine “The Victorian Coalition Government believes that integrity must be first and foremost for the Victorian racing industry”.
“To ensure confidence is maintained in the industry, racing authorities should always make sure that they deal with integrity related matters efficiently and without unnecessary delay.”
“Racing Victoria and its stewards are independent of the Government, and its integrity systems must be allowed to operate without interference from the Government” Napthine continued.
Today, Racing Victoria has announced that jockey Damien Oliver has been charged with two offences under the Australian Rules of Racing.
Racing Victoria has advised that it has used its powers under the Rules of Racing to stand down Mr Oliver, pending a hearing before the stewards’ panel which is to be held next week on Tuesday 20 November.
But Napthine won’t be drawn on the inquiry outcome “As this case, undertaken by independent racing integrity officials, is ongoing, it would be totally inappropriate for me to make comment or intervene.”
“The Coalition Government believes that individuals should be afforded procedural fairness and natural justice.”
“As Minister for Racing I am vitally concerned to protect and enhance the integrity of racing in Victoria.”
“While I am unable to comment on this ongoing inquiry, I wish to assure all racing stakeholders that I will have further comments to make at the conclusion of the inquiry” said Napthine.
According to the minister’s office, The independent Racing Integrity Commissioner is currently finalising a report looking into racing integrity issues across the industry.
The Commissioner has indicated his report will make recommendations to the Government aimed at further enhancing racing integrity which we will seriously consider and implement accordingly.
The Coalition Government has already committed to toughening up racing integrity through the provision of $4 million to the racing industry to enhance research into, and testing for, performance enhancing drugs.
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