The Victoria Jockeys Association has distributed the following words from Damien Oliver after he was today suspended for a total of 10 months by RVL Stewards.
“Today, I appeared before a Racing Victoria stewards’ hearing into two serious charges of betting on a horse and making a phone call from the jockeys’ room.
I have made a full statement to the stewards.
It was a spur of the moment decision that I will regret for the rest of my career and beyond. There were many personal issues going on in my life at that time.
However, there are no excuses for the fact that I breached the trust of many people in the industry and I broke a fundamental rule of racing.
I started riding horses in 1988 when I was 15 years old. This industry, while tough and hard, has been extremely good to me.
People must not assume that my misdeed and lack of judgement on that day in 2010 reflects on jockeys or the industry broadly. I ask my fellow jockeys, for whom I have the greatest respect, to forgive my actions.
As for the last few weeks, I have participated honestly and with respect to the processes of Racing Victoria. I have been afforded due process and have put my position and explanations to the stewards.
I want people to know that, while I have admitted to this serious breach and can offer no excuses, I have never ever, in my 24 years of racing, not tried my hardest to win when I am on the back of a horse.
I look forward to continuing my career in racing in the future. I know that I will need to work hard to restore people’s trust in me, but if given the opportunity I believe I have a lot to offer and to give back to the industry.
I will not be making any other statement regarding this issue.”