Top Australian jockey Oliver banned for 10 months

Champion jockey Damien Oliver was Tuesday banned from racing for 10 months after blaming his marriage breakdown for a decision to put money on a rival horse that won a race in which he was riding.

The Australian two-time Melbourne Cup winner was suspended for eight months over the betting scandal and was slapped with another two-month ban for using a mobile phone in the jockeys' room prior to the race, which is prohibited.

"I want to apologise to the racing industry. I'm deeply sorry for my actions," Oliver said in brief comments after the Racing Victoria hearing.

The betting charge related to a race two years ago at Moonee Valley in Melbourne in which Oliver, 40, breached the rules by betting Aus$10,000 (US$10,400) via a third party on eventual winner and favourite Miss Octopussy.

Oliver's horse, second favourite Europa Point, finished sixth.

Jockeys are banned from betting on any horse, while betting on a horse in the same race is one of the "gravest breaches" of Australian racing laws.

During the hearing, Oliver reportedly broke down in tears as he admitted the offences, telling of psychological stress brought on by a temporary split from his wife and a battle with alcohol.

"I felt despondent and had lost my belief in my ability as a jockey," Oliver told the hearing, ABC radio reported.

"It was a highly stressful time. I feared I would lose my marriage. It was the only time I had ever placed a bet on a rival horse. I didn't consult any other jockey or trainer."

In a statement afterwards, he said he had no plans to retire.

"I look forward to continuing my career in racing in the future. I know I have to work hard to restore people's trust in me," he said.

"People must not assume that my misdeed (and) lack of judgement on that day in 2010 reflects on the jockeys and the industry broadly."

The scandal blew up in the press on the morning of the Melbourne Cup earlier this month, overshadowing the Aus$6 million showpiece event. Oliver was one of the favourites to win but finished 11th.

Racing Victoria chairman Michael Duffy said Oliver's ban was "appropriate".

"The result of today's stewards' inquiry has sent a powerful message to the jockey profession that there is a zero tolerance of any breaches of the prohibition on betting," he said in a statement.

Oliver is one of the nation's most successful jockeys, and is one of only seven riders to win Australia racing's grand slam of the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • The other side of Palawan Ellen Tordesillas, Contributor - The Inbox
    The other side of Palawan

    By Ellen T. Tordesillas Mention Palawan and what comes to mind are  Underground River and El Nido in the northern side of this richly-blessed province from its capital, Puerto Princesa. Three  weeks ago, we went to the southern side- in … Continue reading → …

  • What can void a new car warranty? James Deakin - Wheel Power
    What can void a new car warranty?

    "I was denied warranty once for changing my horn!" One very annoyed reader wrote. "I was told that placing a backup camera will void my warranty" said another. The others are best left in my private inbox as Yahoo! have a swear jar in the office that I do not feel like donating this week's pay to. Continue reading → …

  • Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources VERA Files - The Inbox
    Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources

    By Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, VERA Files "Gutom (hunger)," Sen. Loren Legarda said is what’s in store for the Filipino people if destruction of the country's marine resources is not stopped. Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on Environment and Natural … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options