We were alarmed by comments last week from RVL CEO Rob Hines, when he told TVN:
"The Stewards are not law enforcement, the police are the law enforcement agency and we have to run second string to them. So when they have a criminal investigation we have to sit back and wait for that to be resolved."So we asked RVL media to put three questions to Mr Hines, questions not specifically related to any allegation or investigation:
- Under what statute must RVL "sit back and wait" to investigate any information it has that the Australian Rules of Racing have been breached?
- Does ANY police investigation into possible criminal activity within the racing industry specifically preclude RVL from conducting their own investigations within their own jurisdiction under the Australian Rules of Racing?
- What formal processes exist for the sharing of information between Police and Racing Controlling Bodies?
"In respect of Questions 1 and 2, Racing Victoria gives consideration to the circumstances of each matter and determines the appropriate approach in accordance with those circumstances.
As a general statement, the existence of a criminal investigation does not preclude Racing Victoria from conducting its own investigations into matters as they relate to the Rules of Racing. However, there may be circumstances in which Racing Victoria will be restricted from taking disciplinary action due to a related criminal investigation and/or prosecution being conducted by law enforcement bodies. For example, disciplinary action may be restricted so as to avoid prejudicing the outcome of a police investigation or prosecution. This is the concern to which Rob Hines addressed his comments last Sunday.
In respect of Question 3, Racing Victoria works closely with Victoria Police and Victoria’s Racing Integrity Commissioner on criminal matters, be they alleged or founded, that are associated with licensed persons and the Victorian racing industry. We will not be disclosing the channels of communication that exist between the parties.