Mark Kavanagh & Danny O'Brien: Trainers have doping bans overturned

Mark Kavanagh & Danny O'Brien: Trainers have doping bans overturned

Victorian trainer Danny O'Brien says he and Mark Kavanagh were bullied by Racing Victoria over cobalt charges, which have been dismissed on appeal.

Two Australian trainers found guilty of doping horses successfully overturned their multi-year bans Friday after a tribunal found evidence used to prosecute them inadmissible.

Justice Greg Garde of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) added: "The legal effect is that the test results are inadmissible in evidence against the trainers".

Kavanagh and O'Brien received respective three- and four-year disqualifications after five horses returned positive results for cobalt in 2014.

How can cobalt boost performance?

It can also occur naturally in horses, but at a very low level.

He said O'Brien and Kavanagh were not negligent in relying on the vet to administer the drips.

Justice Garde's summary also stressed that the tribunal was not satisfied that the pair were aware that the substances were being administered, nor that they were informed by Brennan or "suspected that he meant to administer an unproven and untested substance to their horses". Where the rules of racing are breached, it is our job to take the appropriate action to enforce the rules.

Racing Victoria's acting chief executive Giles Thompson said the governing authority were "disappointed" with the outcome and would review the reasons behind VCAT's judgement before deciding on future action.

"It is time for Mr Pakula to stop talking and start getting involved in getting racing back on track in this state", O'Brien said.

Speaking to the media outside VCAT following Friday's decision, O'Brien called on Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula to review RV's integrity department.

"I can understand why Mr O'Brien is very animated this morning, that is a matter for him, but I don't intend to get in the middle of a spat between a trainer and the integrity department".

"If they [the integrity department] are going to pursue matters that they believe need to be pursued, no matter how high profile the subject of that is, then they are going to upset people from time to time".

Racehorse trainers Danny O'Brien and Mark Kavanagh outside VCAT.

They were also granted a stay allowing them to continue to compete until a verdict on the appeal was reached.

The trainers have had the axe hanging over their heads since January 2015 following a series of tests on horses which ran during the spring carnival of 2014.

Champion trainer Peter Moody, the man who prepared Black Caviar, also fell victim to the cobalt inquiries and he walked away from racing previous year, disillusioned with his treatment in a separate case.

O'Brien also won the 2007 Caulfield Cup with Master O'Reilly.

Kavanagh and O'Brien are two of the biggest names in Australian horse racing.