Champion trainer Darren Weir will not contest charges related to banned devices known as jiggers and can expect to be banned for at least four years.
Racing Victoria stewards will ask the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board hear the case against Weir as soon as possible and told the trainer before he said he would not contest the charges they would be asking for a four-year disqualification.
Weir’s assistant, licensed trainer Jarrod McLean, will fight a charge of possessing a jigger and will be allowed to train until a RAD Board hearing.
Both trainers spent around 11 hours in a closed show cause hearing on Monday before RV issued a statement detailing the findings.
The jiggers were found when stewards and officers from Victoria Police’s sports integrity unit raided Weir’s stables at Ballarat and Warrnambool on Wednesday last week and arrested the pair.
RV said until the RAD Board hearing which could be this week, Weir is not allowed to nominate horses in any trials or races, that any horses entered to race be withdrawn and that he cannot accept with any horse nominated to race in coming days.
For those horses to start they will need to be transferred to another stable before acceptance time.
In addition to rule breaches relating to the jiggers, Weir and McLean were charged with failing to answer questions at the opening of a stewards’ inquiry on Thursday and conduct prejudicial to racing.
Legal representatives from RV and the two trainers worked on reaching an agreement throughout Monday after Weir and McLean arrived at RV headquarters shortly before 2pm.
The final settlement was reached after 1am on Tuesday.
The pair left through a side exit of the RV building without speaking to the media.
Stewards have placed significant conditions on McLean until his case is heard including not being allowed to take any horses that were trained by Weir before January 30.
Authorities will not pursue charges against stable employee, Tyson Kermond, who was also charged last week for failing to give evidence.
RV head of integrity Jamie Stier said it was a complex matter with stewards determined to give due consideration to the submissions made along with ongoing investigations.
“Darren Weir is facing serious charges of possessing three electrical apparatus and conduct prejudicial to the interests or image of racing,” Stier said.
“He has advised the stewards that he will not contest those charges which have drawn considerable negative publicity to the sport.
“Until such time as the RAD Board convenes to hear and determine Mr Weir’s charges, the stewards have imposed strict conditions on his licence that ensure he is not permitted to enter or race any horses as a trainer or owner.
“On the basis that Mr McLean advised the stewards that he will contest the charges against him, significant conditions have also been imposed on his operation until such time as the charges have been heard and determined by the RAD Board.
“In reaching these positions on the show cause notices, the stewards note that investigations remain ongoing and that they reserve the right to act upon any new evidence that comes to hand during the course of those investigations.”
A five-time Melbourne premiership winner, Weir gained international fame as the trainer of 2015 Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance.