Sorry Saga - “It’s actually quite funny people thinking they know more than they actually do”


Please tell me her name is not Liz…

… or Sarah!


Once again, none of it makes sense and will probably remain a riddle until the truth is revealed and unanswered questions are answered. This will probably never happen. Robson head hunted from Hawthorn supposedly for his genius and what an absolute dud he turned out to be at the EFC. His staff miss- management skills, lack of governance and inability to act in a crisis, as shown during the supplement saga. Now at Melbourne Victory and apparently doing a marvellous job. Did he just have a couple of bad years at the EFC and then regained his insight???

Paul Hamilton goes from being hopelessly inept at Essendon, walks into a position at the AFL then becomes State Manager for Player Development this year. What a genius! What the???

David Evans runs a very successful business and yet, failed miserably, at Essendon during the crisis perhaps because, he was hopelessly conflicted. Refusing to sack staff and pay them out namely Dank and Robinson, who were obviously not performing and breaching the AFL rules by their lack of Governance and slack supervision. The EFC ended up playing out Dean Robinson to the tune of a cool million plus and somehow; Dean managed to score an MBA and a good position at a very well known firm of Accountants in Melbourne. Yet his Governance skills and Management of staff under him at the EFC, completely failed in terms of reporting to superiors about problems, a total lack of supervision of staff namely Dank and was absolutely in-meticulous at his record keeping.

And; then there’s the Essendon Board - hear no evil, see no evil, do no evil. Eyes wide shut. What an absolute mystery and the miracles, where several people did a complete about face and turned their lives around. Inspirational really!!!


Was making tea in my work kitchen and 2 out of 2 people walked in, took a look at the Herald Sun cover, made a disparaging comment and left (“oh, doesn’t he love the limelight” and “oh, 5 weeks in a fancy clinic and he’s all better now”… (they didn’t know my allegiances). I made a retort back and both looked startled at the fact that their comments had been challenged (they were expecting me to agree).


It’s sad that the first thing I think is please, please don’t let it have anything to do with us:

AFL Victoria has been made aware by ASADA of a potential breach by a VFL player of the competition’s Rules & Regulations, specifically the Anti Doping Code (which covers performance enhancing substances).

Players are made well aware of the risks and subsequent sanctions in relation to prohibited substances.

Prior to each season, all VFL Clubs take part in several education programs including the requirements of the Anti-Doping Code, with all players required to attend each session.

AFL Victoria is in direct contact with ASADA each year to ensure we comply with their requirements, and that our education strategies are appropriate.

In order to maintain the integrity of the ASADA process regarding the VFL player, AFL Victoria is not in a position to offer further comment.


Was it Bock?


No, it’s a VFL player.


“In order to maintain the integrity of the ASADA process…”

Integrity and ASADA? FFS!


I used to have it on all the time once since the saga got under way & they decided to be nasty every five minutes I turned it off haven’t had it on for over 2 years now


I hope ASADA is telling everybody how to read the WADA website so they can find banned substances which are not listed!


I saw a report that it was higenamine in a supplement last year. UEFA exonerated Sakho because of WADA lack of evidence of health and performance enhancing effects. WADA did not appeal.
Like TB4 , higenamine was not specifically listed in the WADA Code last year, it has since been added as an example.
IIRC, another athlete got a month or so for higenamine use by the relevant federation, discounted for no significant fault.
I hope the VFL player is on to this and that the AFL tribunal is as well.


Sarcasm missed :slight_smile:


Thought it might have been - wasn’t sure.


Believe David Buttifant who supervised the fitness sessions of our banned players is having trouble getting back into the AFL scene. Was working with Mark Evans at AFL at the time on Guidelines for Fitness Advisors but was told by Evans that working with the banned players was not a good career move from AFL perspective.
Wonder how many of the fitness staff/doctors who were at clubs in 2012 still have jobs in the AFL.
12 clubs had dodgy supplements programs. Buttifant of course was at Collingwood then.


The spite of the AFL knows no bounds.


If only the Howard government hadn’t forced the AFL to be subject to WADA, consider that horse racing is an international sport and it is inherently open to corruption and manipulation for profit. Yet an appeal to VCAT can clear a horse trainers name.

Why the ■■■■ is the AFL as a domestic sport which has gambling, but wasn’t invented for the sole purpose, subject to courts in Switzerland.

Litigation tsunami heading RV’s way after O’Brien, Kavanagh cleared

March 17, 2017 11:38am

IT’S both the end and a new beginning. Trainers Mark Kavanagh and Danny O’Brien can now proceed with once celebrated careers that are in tatters.

Twenty six months on from the time they were alerted to illegal cobalt levels in their horses, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Friday upheld their appeals against career-crippling disqualifications.


Justice Greg Garde slammed the sample-splitting testing procedure implemented by Racing Victoria, saying it “substantially departed’’ from required standards.

The improper procedure may nor may not have a stunning ripple effect.

Positive tests returned Lee and Shannon Hope — about to appeal three- and five-year disqualifications — are believed to have been established by the same flawed method and it was argued during Peter Moody’s case that his samples had been tested illegally.

Moody and the Hopes said on Friday that they would “wait and see’’ regarding possible threads of litigation against RV which also seemed unclear if the Kavanagh and O’Brien cases would case a ripple effect of overturned convictions.

Judge Garde also said he was comfortable neither trainer was aware vet Tom Brennan was illegally injecting concentrated levels of cobalt into their horses or authorised Brennan to do so.

He said the trainers were “victims of Dr Brennan”.

So the trainers did not escape the noose via a mere technicality, they were vindicated.

That might be shallow relief when it comes to picking up the pieces.

Kavanagh’s once thriving stable has been decimated to a trickle. O’Brien’s has been halved as clients have wandered off elsewhere as a cloud hung over O’Brien’s credibility and future.

The trainers pretty much stopped buying horses because they were unsure if they would be able to train them.

They have spent about $700,000 each to defend themselves; money they may in some way be recouped via legal recourse but there have been other costs — both financial and non-financial — that cannot be.

So their new beginning is a tough road.

The story itself has a new beginning, one where the focus now shifts away from the trainers to the industry regulator.

O’Brien did not mince his words. His lip quivered as he spoke of vilification and bullying by some RV staff. He spoke of rules “engineered’’ rather than adhered to by RV.

He spoke of a racing judicial system, where cross examination of witnesses was not allowed at the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board — which imposed the disqualifications — but were allowed at VCAT, which ruled in their favour.

Kavanagh said the chief steward Terry Bailey had “called everyone a liar’’ and that there was one rule book and that he wished Bailey “had read it”.

All of this points to a litigation tsunami heading RV’s way, demands for damages and costs and for heads to roll but RV insists it was entitled to prosecute the cases once the positive tests were revealed.

No one, including Garde, challenged the accuracy of the tests, just the way they were collected.

It is unclear if RV will appeal Friday’s decision. It will plough through Garde’s 150-page report, consider its position and balance legal position versus the merits of continuing a saga that has dragged the sport it governs through the mud.


The sister article.

O’Brien, Kavanagh free to continue training after VCAT appeal upheld

March 17, 2017 8:07pm

RACING Victoria has been left with a $6 million legal bill, no scalps and a litigation threat after trainers Mark Kavanagh and Danny O’Brien were cleared of cobalt cheating.

It took less than five minutes for the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal’s Justice Garde to put an end to 26 months of heartache and uncertainty for the trainers when he upheld their appeals against career-crippling disqualifications.

O’Brien had been outed for four years and Kavanagh three by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board.

Garde’s finding that neither trainer had knowingly cheated was met with gasps of relief and tears from the trainers’ families and then both relief and anger from the trainers who are now considering legal action against RV.

Interim chief executive Giles Thompson said RV was “surprised and disappointed’’ by the finding and defended RV’s right to prosecute the trainers for cobalt readings up to 100 times above naturally-occurring levels.

Thompson did not rule out an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Garde said the testing procedure between April 2014 and August 25, 2015 by RV’s lab, Racing Analytical Services Ltd, had been a “substantial departure’’ from proper protocols.

The Australian Trainers Association has demanded a “full and independent review’’ of RV’s integrity unit in light of Friday’s decision.

The protocol breach, as well as O’Brien’s accusations of “bullying and vilification’’ against some RV staff, is likely to be the catalyst for legal action against RV from the trainers.

O’Brien said he and Kavanagh had insisted their innocence from the start of a 26-month process that had decimated both stables.

Kavanagh said resurrecting his career would be “difficult’’ despite being cleared.

O’Brien said “to stand here today, 26 months later, and have Justice Garde affirm that — he’s been very clear that neither Mark or I had any intention of cheating or trying to break any rules of racing — that we’re completely innocent of all charges.

“And he’s also thrown a light on the behaviour of Racing Victoria, the breaches of the rules that they in fact have engineered throughout this process.

“And that’s probably been the most disappointing thing — the bullying and vilification of both Mark and I and our families by some people has been quite incredible.

“Midway through this Racing Victoria brought on a show-cause hearing to try to take our (training) licences away before any charges had been heard.

“We were then subjected to a show trial at the RAD Board, where we were not even allowed to cross-examine the witness.

“It’s time that (Racing Minister) Martin Pakula took a hard look at what is going on in the racing industry in this state.

Pakula said “if he (O’Brien) is calling for me as minster to discipline or take some action against the chief steward (Terry Bailey) that’s not an invitation I’ll be taking up.’’

Pakula added he would not get involved in a “spat’’ between a trainer and stewards and said RV and its stewards had every right to prosecute a case against Kavanagh and O’Brien.

He said the fact the stewards’ case was unsuccessful did not mean there should be dire consequences for them.

“It’s not a reasonable test for the integrity unit that they have to win every single case.’’

Friday’s decision may create a ripple effect of reversed convictions and abandoned cobalt cases in Victoria.

O’Brien had four horses return illegal cobalt readings after the 2014 spring carnival and Kavanagh had one.

They were advised of the positive tests on January 14, 2015 — the start of the drawn out saga.

Danny O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh O’Brien have said they will take time before considering their legal options.


Danny O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh had continued to train under a stay of proceedings before their stunning appeal win. This is what the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal decision means for other players in racing’s cobalt saga.


The chief steward ran the investigation against the trainers. Bailey had conceded the testing of cobalt samples had not been “followed to the letter’’, a point which came home to roost on Friday. But Justice Greg Garde said that “there is nothing about RVL’s conduct of the proceedings before the tribunal that might constitute an abuse of process’’. Danny O’Brien has called for an investigation into Racing Victoria, but Racing Minister Martin Pakula on Friday backed Bailey.


Peter Moody walked away from training after being found guilty of a lesser charge of administering cobalt and being suspended for six months. O’Brien/Kavanagh case has no impact on his position.


Shannon Hope and Lee Hope are waiting for Justice Garde to decide on their appeals against five and three-year-disqualification over cobalt use. Friday’s ruling is seen as a positive indicator for the father-son team.


Stawell trainer Terry O’Sullivan on Friday said he and his daughter training partner are waiting on the results of a stewards investigation into a positive cobalt swab dating to 2015.


Balnarring trainer was informed by stewards that his galloper Coppola had returned a cobalt level above the revised threshold of 100mcg per litre of urine (former standard was 200mcg) at Geelong in December.




RV was always pushing ■■■■ uphill when it was discovered the chain of custody for the samples was flawed and failed to follow protocol.

It’s staggering that RV ever charged the participants.


U[quote=“SCarey, post:361, topic:9724”]

Mmmmm, not that different to us except we had to deal with CAS. Clearly any Aussie appeal tribunal would have told WADA to ■■■■ off. The fact that the EFC34 have been shafted by the liberal and labour parties, who have the power to intervene, should NEVER be forgotten when the opportunity arises for pay back :rage::rage::rage:


Sounds somewhat familiar.

VRC hierarchy are a bunch of (put in your own words) very much like the AFL. My nephew’s girl friend used to work there in a very lucrative paying position, she lasted 18 months because couldn’t stand the game playing and lack of integrity at the top level. Has left and gone elsewhere for less money and better hours and is much happier.