Vet says he lied to protect trainers

The vet at the centre of cobalt cases in NSW and Victoria says he initially lied to protect himself and Flemington trainers Danny O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh.

Dr Tom Brennan said he had been assured by a fellow vet there was no cobalt in bottles labelled vitamin complex he gave O’Brien, Kavanagh and Kavanagh’s son, Sydney trainer Sam Kavanagh.

He did not tell Victorian and NSW stewards about the vitamin complex until July last year.

Racing Victoria barrister Jeff Gleeson QC said a significant reason why Brennan was not initially truthful with stewards was he was trying to protect O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh.

Brennan agreed and said he was also trying to protect himself.

“I admit that I lied to protect myself and the trainers,” Brennan told O’Brien and Kavanagh’s appeal over their cobalt disqualifications on Thursday.

“Unfortunately I got hoodwinked by an associate of mine. I trusted him and the trainers have trusted me and we all ended up in this mess.

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“Yes I lied to protect my clients and I lied to protect myself and I apologise.”

Brennan admitted he threw out a vitamin complex bottle after news of the cobalt positives came out in early 2015.

“In a moment of panic I did,” he told the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Thursday.

Brennan maintained he never knew the vitamin complex contained cobalt and never told the trainers it did.

“We never knew it was cobalt,” he said.

Brennan has again blamed former Flemington Equine Clinic vet Dr Adam Matthews for supplying the vitamin complex that Brennan in turn gave to horses in the Kavanagh and O’Brien stables, which Matthews denies.

A bottle labelled vitamin complex Brennan sent to Sam Kavanagh was analysed and found to contain massive quantities of cobalt.

Brennan said he was sorry he had caused trouble for so many people.

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