09 September 2011

Trots scandal claims second scalp as driver is "warned off"

Latest news in the corruption scandal rocking harness racing in New South Wales is that veteran driver Robbie Byrnes  refused to supply access to his phone records to officials and was ''warned off'' all racecourses yesterday, "a punishment which means he cannot have any involvement in trotting", reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
"In August two stewards, Paul O'Toole and Matthew Bentley, resigned their positions after being confronted with allegations that they had not taken pre- and post-race drug tests from particular horses. This gave corrupt trainers, punters and drivers a huge advantage in orchestrating betting plunges. It is believed as many as 80 per cent of the doped horses won their races."
Owner Mark Vallander was warned off on August 23 after also refusing to comply with similar requests for information. The Daily Telegraph says "police and racing investigators are trying to establish whether sensitive information was leaked by stewards to trainers concerning which horses would be drug tested, and also whether there was collusion between stewards, drivers and punters."

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