Eight found guilty in Australia racing scandal

Five trainers and three stable employees have been found guilty of doping offences in what has been described as the biggest scandal in Australian horse racing history.

The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on Tuesday ruled that all eight were guilty of dishonest, corrupt, fraudulent, improper or dishonourable practices.

They were found guilty of being party to the administration of alkalinising agents and/or medications to a horse or horses on a raceday.

Trainers Robert Smerdon, Stuart Webb, Tony Vasil, Trent Pennuto and Liam Birchley face fines and lengthy bans, while Greg Nelligan, Denise Nelligan and Daniel Garland were also found guilty.

Smerdon and Nelligan were found to have administered medication to a horse on raceday without the permission of the stewards.

Nelligan was found guilty of lay betting on a horse under the control of his employer, failing to comply with an order of the stewards and refusing to give evidence at a stewards' inquiry.

All eight pleaded not guilty to the charges and Birchley was the only one of the accused who attended the hearing to give evidence.

Birchley later confirmed that he would appeal against the decision.

The RAD board will hear penalty submissions on Thursday.

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