Racing Victoria (RV) Chief Executive, Giles Thompson, has issued the following statement after today’s decision by RV stewards to issue charges against licensed trainers Darren Weir and Jarrod McLean and licensed foreperson Tyson Kermond:
“The core responsibility of Racing Victoria is to protect the integrity of the sport and to enforce the Australian Rules of Racing, ensuring both a level playing field for all and the health and welfare of horses competing in Victorian races. This is a responsibility that we take seriously and one that requires important decisions to be made.
“This is a complex matter and that is why the stewards have taken the time to thoroughly consider the information available to them since Victoria Police executed their warrants on Wednesday and have today made decisions that they believe are in the best interests of Victorian racing.
“I understand that there are innocent parties impacted by this and I am sympathetic to the owners within Mr Weir’s and Mr McLean’s stables that have been affected by the decisions made today, however the integrity of the sport and its reputation must come first.
“I’m also aware that there will be a number of hard-working stable staff that will be concerned about what this may mean for their future. Our Participant Wellbeing team has reached out to them today offering a range of support services and I encourage anyone affected to contact Stableline on 1300 520 122 for free and independent support.
“Whilst today’s events are significant, it is important to note that investigations remain ongoing and we will deal with any further information that may come to light. To that end, I would encourage anyone who has information that may be of interest to the stewards or Victoria Police to come forward.
“Finally, I want to acknowledge our integrity team who are working tirelessly in the best interests of the industry and will continue to do so.”