NEWCASTLE trainer Darren Smith will appeal his 15-year disqualification handed down by Racing NSW stewards on Friday.
The case dubbed “landmark” sees Smith become the first trainer in Australia to be sentenced for cobalt use. His lawyer Paul O’Sullivan presented submissions to the panel chaired by chief steward Ray Murrihy.
“It took a scientific ‘expert’ from Racing NSW two cracks at it to define what the threshold should be for cobalt in racehorses,” O’Sullivan said. “And you’re telling us Mr Smith should’ve known nearly 12 months earlier what that answer was.
“What education did Racing NSW provide trainers on this issue — none.”
Smith had nine drug-related offences dating back to 1989 coming into Friday’s sentencing.
“There’s not a record in NSW like that,” Murrihy said.
O’Sullivan wanted stewards to take into account Smith had not been training since May last year and requested that be his penalty. It was denied, but stewards did agree that Smith’s time should start from when he ceased saddling up horses.
He is free to resume training on May 30, 2029.
“I tried to hand the stewards $200 and an appeal application but they didn’t take it,” O’Sullivan said. “We’ll take this all the way. Gai Waterhouse has tested these guys 12 times and never lost. There’s so many flaws in their case.
“Ray Murrihy sat with Terry Bailey (Racing Victoria) on February 24, 2014 at a National Stewards Conference and the issue of cobalt was raised.
“Victoria acted upon the issue and Racing NSW did nothing.
“As a result of that Darren Smith finds himself in a vacuum, where no laws apply but he’s been found guilty.”
Last year, Racing Victoria chose to implement a 200mg/litre cobalt rule that didn’t apply in NSW until the start of 2015.
This remains the backbone of Smith’s case.http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/well-take-this-all-the-way-darren-smiths-lawyer-vows-to-fight-trainers-15-year-ban-for-cobalt-doping/story-fn67vr4w-1227271206071
It boils down to a legal issue.......was the treatment prohibited at the time it was detected......Smith's case in a nutshell is it wasn't.
Smith is a serial offender and even if successful as his brief seems confident of RNSW could refuse to re-license him should he apply .
Murrihy on the other hand relied on existing rules which have been mentioned previously and which I'll identify when I find them .
Stewards reasons for decision relying on relevant AR rules AR178B(1) and AR 177B(2) (1)