RV introduces Integrity Council
Racing Victoria (RV) on Friday announced a major enhancement to the structure of its integrity services model to ensure that it remains at the forefront of integrity management in Australian sport.
With the support of the Victorian Premier and Minister for Racing, Denis Napthine, RV is introducing an independent panel to provide integrity advice to the RV Board and Integrity Services Department.
To be known as the Racing Victoria Integrity Council (RVIC), the panel will provide expert advice on integrity policies, procedures and compliance.
It will also advise and make recommendations to the RV Board on a range of integrity related matters including investigations into serious breaches of the Rules of Racing.
The five-person RVIC will compromise three independents, including the Chair, with each to be appointed with the approval of the Minister for Racing. They will be joined by two RV directors.
RV Chief Executive, Bernard Saundry, said the RVIC, which would commence duties in April, would strengthen the structure of the integrity model in Victorian thoroughbred racing.
“We welcome the support of Premier Napthine and the Victorian Coalition Government in establishing the Racing Victoria Integrity Council which further strengthens our management of the integrity of thoroughbred racing in this state,” Saundry said.
“The Racing Victoria Integrity Council will be an expert independent source of policy advice for both the Board and Integrity Services Management and complements our existing structures well.
“The independent members of the Racing Victoria Integrity Council will be announced soon. Those chosen will bring with them a wealth of knowledge and be regularly sought to provide advice and make recommendations on integrity matters of great importance.
“Racing Victoria invests more resources into integrity than any other sporting organisation in Australia and today’s announcement further demonstrates our commitment to ensure that the right people and policies are in place to best protect the integrity of our sport.”
The RVIC introduction follows recent changes to the Racing Act 1958 by the Napthine Government which affords RV jurisdiction over non-licensed persons if relevant to a racing inquiry and builds upon a range of integrity enhancements introduced by RV over the past 12 months which include;
• Minimum penalties for serious offences – Minimum disqualifications ranging from six months to five years for offences including jockey betting, corruption and administration of drugs. Effective since 1 March 2013.
• More charges direct to independent RAD Board – The status of 38 rules was upgraded in October 2013 such that charges issued by RV stewards for breaches of these are now sent straight to the independent Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board for decision on conviction and penalty.
• Extension of raceday treatment rules – A one clear day prohibition on administration of treatments, including stomach tubing and alkalinising agents, was introduced by RV 12 months ago and then adopted nationally by the Australian Racing Board (ARB) in September 2013.
• Expanded CAT in operation – Two ex-Victoria Police detectives commenced in May 2013 with RV’s Compliance Assurance Team (CAT) which has oversight of investigations, stable inspections, bet monitoring and out-of-competition testing, thus increasing the CAT to eight members.
• Jockey betting declarations – ‘No betting’ declaration introduced from 1 May 2013 as part of the 2013-14 Victorian licensing process. Declaration forms were completed by all jockeys licensed for this racing season.
• Declaration of form advisors – The 2013-14 Victorian licensing process, for the first time, saw jockeys declare form analysts from which they intend to receive professional advice thus affording stewards greater oversight.
• Stewards raceday hub – Construction of a new raceday control room at RV’s Flemington offices to allow an ‘off site’ stewards panel to analyse race footage and betting in real time to support stewards officiating ‘on the ground’ at race meetings.
• New stand down powers – Following the introduction of a local rule by RV in March 2013, the ARB followed suit with a national rule, effective 1 October 2013, which allows licensees to be stood down once charges are laid or a serious criminal offence is committed.
• Racetrack exclusion for undesirable people – Extension of powers that allow RV to warn off, disqualify or suspend any person once the Chief Commissioner of Police has issued a racetrack exclusion order.
• Greater restrictions on suspended/disqualified persons – Local Victorian rules were introduced in October 2013 to provide a mechanism for the Stewards or the RAD Board to impose conditions on an individual who is suspended or disqualified. These may include a restriction on participating in social or mainstream media.
• Ban on anabolic steroids – A new national rule supported by RV that imposes a ban on the use of anabolic steroids in horses effective from 1 May 2014.
• Improved bet monitoring – More detailed and frequent feeds of betting information from approved wagering operators to allow more thorough analysis of betting trends and irregularities.
• Greater security presence – An extension in November 2013 of the period on which security guards were placed alongside horses engaged in Australia’s most famous race, the Emirates Melbourne Cup, from 10 to 24 hours prior.