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The RAD Board has imposed a $90,000 fine to go with a life disqualification for Robert Smerdon
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The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board has imposed a $90,000 fine to go with a life disqualification for Robert Smerdon over the trainer’s role in the Aquanita case.

Racing Victoria had sought a maximum $100,000 fine in submissions to the RAD Board before penalties were handed down on May 10.

Smerdon, along with Greg and Denise Nelligan, were handed life disqualifications following an investigation into the Aquanita race day treatments case.

Others banned were trainers Stuart Webb for four years, Tony Vasil for three years, Trent Pennuto for two years, Liam Birchley for one year and stablehand Daniel Garland for one year.

The RAD Board’s judgment noted Smerdon should not be seen as simply retiring and walking away which was the message given in an interview before the Aquanita case was heard.

They agreed that a figure close to the maximum should be applied, but thought more reprehensible conduct could be imagined, or arise.

The Board took into account material supplied by Tim McHenry, Smerdon’s representative, as to his financial position.

The judgment also said Racing Victoria stewards had indicated some preparedness to discuss terms of the payment.

Two of the disqualified, Vasil and Birchley, have appealed their penalties and were last week granted a stay of proceedings to continue training pending their appeals.

 
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