Kavanagh and O’Brien promise to appeal 3-year cobalt bans

guilty of cobalt useAFTER months of speculation and countless court hearings, trainers Mark Kavanagh and Danny O’Brien have today received lengthy bans for their cobalt-related offences.

It took only 10 minutes for the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board to give their decision, which was to terminate the training license held by Danny O’Brien for four years and Mark Kavanagh for three years.

Veterinarian Tom Brennan, who was previously found guilty on cobalt offences in the Sam Kavanagh case, was disqualified for five years and it’s unknown whether he will appeal the decision after leaving the inquiry in haste.

Both O’Brien and Kavanagh will appeal the decision, with O’Brien stating that he was looking forward to appealing to VCAT.

O’Brien was found guilty in relation to Caravan Rolls On, De Little Engine, Bondeiger and Bullpit – which each carried a minimum three-year disqualification period, but he will serve all charges cumulatively.

“We’re really pleased to get through this part of the process,” O’Brien stated after the hearing. “It’s been a really long twelve months and certainly some of the process has been less than satisfactory.

“We’re on our way now into VCAT to get a stay of proceedings pending an appeal date. You will all be aware that we’ve raised some real issues of the way this scenario has played out.”

O’Brien made reference to the fact that Chief Steward Terry Bailey has been “gone missing”, with Bailey due to return from a much-needed holiday on February 1.

“We still have not had any answers from RVL, the chief integrity officer has gone missing – I believe it will be seven weeks until he comes back on the first on February so I guess that will be the first time we get some sort of answer where we stand on all this.

“At the end of the day they are really just holding back the tide until we get to VCAT and everything is examined properly and in real adult court.”

Mark Kavanagh was given his minimum three-year sentence for Magicool, but both trainers will be allowed to fulfill their training duties until Friday evening.

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