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Veteran racecaller delivers stern message to alleged dopers


Bryan Martin says that those at the centre of the latest cloud to overshadow the racing industry need to be thrown out imminently and permanently if found guilty.

Horse racing has again been drawn into an integrity probe, with Racing Victoria stewards this week confirming they were investigating the actions of Smerdon Training Services, helmed by Robert Smerdon, over their pre-race treatment of Lovani on Turnbull Stakes Day at Flemington on October 7, with reports that coded text messages were exchanged in relation to the treatment of the mare.

Lovani was scratched from the final race that day once stewards were notified of the horse being treated.

The retiring racecaller says this latest incident is just another in the racing industry’s long history of “imploding” on itself and damaging its brand.

Martin says if any alleged dopers of horses in the industry are found to be guilty, there should be no second chances granted to them.

“If there’s someone who’s mixed up in an alleged doping ring and that gets rid of the level playing field, find them and get rid of them,” he told SEN radio.

“I don’t care whether they’re from the top or the bottom, it’s irrelevant. If you’re getting an edge and you’re not playing the fair game, out you go.

“If there is somebody getting an edge and is working ahead of the laboratory, they have to be cut down, found and dumped. Get them out.

“There’s no maybe let’s give them a second chance, no way. The industry is too great an industry and too fabulous a sport. We love it, we’re involved in it. It’s high stakes to play, but you try and push the envelope too far and you step over the line, out you go.”

Martin says that despite technology working to eradicate doping from the industry being well up to scratch, the integrity of racing must still be enforced by as many stewards as possible.

“We can never ever forget that we have got to have police in racing. They are the stewards. Integrity is critical in all sports,” he said.

“The gambling dollar is worth billions. There are people betting on our races even at the provincials on a Monday or a Friday, it doesn’t matter where you go.

“People are betting on those races globally, let alone here in Australia, so integrity and transparency is absolutely everything.”

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