Five harness racing identities had their appeals upheld at their hearing in front of the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on February 8.
Nathan Jack, Brocq Robertson, Amanda Turnbull, Lisa Bartley and Mark Pitt all had their appeals upheld, meaning all remaining restrictions previously placed on them were lifted.
The decision to suspend their licences was in relation to an alleged race fixing incident that potentially occurred at a Cobram Harness Club race meet in 2015.
In a transcript of the proceedings at the appeals hearing, the Racing and Disciplinary Board explained its decision:
‘‘This investigation commenced over 18 months ago and an earlier suspension and stay application was dealt with by this board on September 14, 2016.
‘‘Four of the five applicants were recently charged with criminal offences pursuant to the betting outcome provisions of the Crimes Act.
‘‘These are to be dealt with in the indictable stream and assuming a contest will be through to a committal then trial in the County Court.
‘‘Given the suspension here it may create unrecoverable consequences for the applicants.
‘‘We are not satisfied that the need to protect the integrity of the industry outweighs the damage to the reputation and livelihood of these applicants.
‘‘Indeed nor are we satisfied that the integrity of the industry will be harmed by the continued involvement of these applicants in the sport pending the outcome of charges.
‘‘Accordingly, the decision of the stewards to suspend all the applicants is stayed.’’