Oliver outed for a month over positive sample
Champion jockey Damien Oliver will appeal the severity of a one-month suspension after returning a positive urine sample to the prohibited substance ephedrine when tested on Derby Day at Flemington on October 31.
The random sample was taken during the meeting as part of Racing Victoria Limited’s (RVL) rider sampling program.
Oliver pleaded guilty to the charge but the Australian Jockeys’ Association (AJA) stated in a press release that he returned the positive test with traces of a "herbal supplement" found in a sample.
Oliver claimed in the AJA release that he had been taking the supplement since 2000 without any previous issues.
He will be contesting the severity of the penalty handed down by RVL stewards, believing it is highly excessive based on penalties previously imposed in other cases.
Evidence was taken on Tuesday from Oliver, Dr John Vine, director of Racing Analytical Services Limited, and Des O’Keeffe, Victorian Jockeys’ Association chief executive.
The inquiry heard that Oliver had provided a clear sample when tested prior to riding at Ascot last Saturday.
Stewards took into account Oliver’s good record in arriving at the penalty.
The suspension starts after he rides on Wednesday at Sandown where he has three mounts.
As it stands Oliver is free to return to race riding on December 26.
He will miss the ride on Apache Cat in the Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin on December 13.
By Mark Ryan