where the horse is always the hero
Article Item
Posted 2021-09-30 17:02:18  

Racing Victoria will give its integrity stewards police style body cameras for their investigations in a major boost to their operations.

It comes as RV also revealed that two of its stewards, Dion Villella and Mark Stevens, will not face further punishments over their involvement in an investigation and subsequent failed charges regarding trainer Richard Laming.

The camera roll out is part of RVs response to Racing Integrity Commissioner Sean Carroll’s eight recommendations on how the sport can improve its investigations as well as its integrity department.

The new cameras will be implemented from next Thursday (October 7) and will be crucial in capturing evidence as well as direct engagement with participants. Body cameras are worn by Victoria Police and have been a key investigative tool.

“RV advised RIC that it will be enhancing its integrity processes through the introduction of body-worn cameras. RV integrity officials will commence utilising the cameras for the conduct of routine and investigative stable inspections from October 2021,” RV said on Thursday.

“RV integrity team members have been undergoing training in the new technology, which will serve to assist both stewards and participants in providing a thorough and accurate account of stable visits for consideration in any subsequent disciplinary hearings.”

In responding to Carroll’s recommendations to RV regarding the Laming investigation and its handling of Villella and Stevens, RV said its board had signed off on the punishments given to the duo.

Villella, a former senior investigator, was demoted for his role in the Laming hearing after an independent report by Carroll identified a number of crucial breaches, including he contacted Stevens on three separate occasions against Victorian Racing Tribunal orders. Both stewards were integral in investigations into allegations Laming doped his horse, Jamaican Rain. Those charges were dropped after the steward’s breaches became clear.

Carrol had asked RV to investigate whether the two stewards should face further punishment for their actions for “conduct detrimental to the interests of racing”. He also raised whether RV senior management should have conducted the investigation into Villella given there was an existing relationship.

RV on Thursday said no further action would be taken

“RV also advised RIC that the Board had considered Recommendation Two pertaining to the conduct of Stewards Dion Villella and Mark Stevens,” the statement reads.

“In doing so, the RV Board noted that the findings of fact made by RIC in his Report were consistent with the investigative work undertaken by RV in its March 2021 review of the conduct of the pair in the Laming matter.

“As a result of that review Mr Villella’s behaviour, considered in the context of his employment obligations, was deemed to amount to serious misconduct and did not reflect the standards required of an Integrity Services Department member. This finding resulted in disciplinary action.

“Following the publication of the Report, RV determined to reconsider the conduct and penalty imposed. After reconsidering all relevant information, including any impact of the conduct of Mr Villella and Mr Stevens on the interests of racing, the RV Board confirmed the appropriate framework for consideration of the conduct had been applied and the disciplinary penalty RV had previously imposed was satisfactory. It also confirmed that that RV would not take any disciplinary action in relation to Mr Stevens as a result of its reconsideration of the matter.”

RV said it continues to resolve other recommendations raised by Carroll in his report.

Email link to a friend | Printable Version
  • Australia
    Displaying 10 ResultsSee All
    cox's plate favorite scratched 22 hours ago

    Today’s Cox Plate favourite Zaaki has been scratched from the $5 million event due to an eleva...

    View | Add Comment
    boss back to melbourne 5 days ago

    Three-time Melbourne Cup winning rider Glen Boss will re-join the Melbourne riding ranks as of this ...

    View | Add Comment
    caulfield cup: aussie champ brings tears to owner7 days ago

    Saturday began with tears and it finished the same way for owner Ozzie Kheir. The tears were flowin...

    View | Add Comment
    covid: nsw jockeys allowed to ride in melbourne 2021-10-14

    Five star Sydney jockeys have been given the green light to travel to Victoria for key Spring Carniv...

    View | Add Comment
    classique legend runs fav for everest 2021-10-12

    Defending champion Classique Legend remains favourite for The Everest (1200m) after connections pluc...

    View | Add Comment
    star colt wins guineas in aus2021-10-09

    Star colt Anamoe proved himself Australia’s champion 3YO with an emphatic triumph in Saturday&...

    View | Add Comment
    hot pot zaaki beaten 2021-10-09

    The Cox Plate is suddenly wide open following the shock defeat of hot favourite Zaaki in Saturday'...

    View | Add Comment
    incentivise wins turnbull in oz2021-10-02

    Incentivise extended his winning streak to eight and won his second-consecutive Group 1 race at Flem...

    View | Add Comment
    snitzel, the great sire of star in the congo2021-09-29

    With major South African pedigree in star sprinter In The Congo, his site also deserves a mention. ...

    View | Add Comment
    via africa's boom colt wins grade 1 in oz2021-09-25

    Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott won their first Golden Rose together as In The Congo led throughout i...

    View | Add Comment