Liam Birchley can continue training in Qld

Liam Birchley
Liam Birchley

Liam Birchley will be allowed to continue training in Queensland despite reports in the media of text messages relating to the Aquanita doping scandal.

Queensland Racing Integrity Commission Commissioner Ross Barnett told a media conference in Brisbane that his staff had already been aware of the allegations made against Birchley in News Corp media on Wednesday.

The text messages are allegedly between Birchey and a Victorian man charged with offences of drenching horses.

“Since this broke in Victoria we have been in contact with Racing Victoria stewards and officials who have been keeping us up to date,” Barnett said.

“We are monitoring the situation very closely and should anything else come to light and in particular about anyone in Queensland we will review our position.

“Senior stewards have reviewed the evidence and come to the conclusion Mr Birchley can continue to train in Queensland for the time being.

“That is because no offence has been committed in Queensland, he has not been found guilty and maintains his innocence and will plead not guilty. Also his disciplinary record shows no previous cases for similar offences.

“Should any more information come to light the stewards will review that situation.”

Barnett emphasised it was a fluid situation which could be reviewed.

Birchley has agreed not to enter horses in Victoria until the case is resolved.

He faces three charges from 2011, 2012 and 2015 that he was dishonest, corrupt or fraudulent in being a party to the administration of alkalising agents and or medications to a horse or horses on a race day.

Birchley, who has already pleaded not guilty and has engaged a leading Queen’s Counsel, said he had legal advice not to comment.