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Oliver suspended over betting scandal
Chris Wang with AAP
11:30 AEST Tue Nov 20 2012

Champion jockey Damien Oliver has been suspended for ten months by Victorian racing stewards after admitting to betting offences.

Oliver was stood down last week after he made admissions he bet on Miss Octopussy in a race at Moonee Valley two years ago in which he rode sixth-placed Europa Point.

He was also charged with using a mobile phone in the vicinity of the jockeys' room before that race.

Oliver read a statement as part of his defence, outlining his fragile state of mind when the bets were placed. The jockey wept as he spoke about his marriage breakdown and the removal of his children, describing that period as the "lowest point of his life".

Between the reports surfacing and charges being laid, Oliver rode three Group One winners at the Melbourne carnival.

Outgoing RV chief executive Rob Hines has defended the decision to allow Oliver to keep riding saying all would become clear after today's hearing.

"After Tuesday when everyone's got the opportunity to look at it laid out in detail I'm pretty hopeful people will say `they handled it OK'," Hines told TVN.

Oliver, who was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2009, is one of only seven jockeys to have won the country's grand slam of the Golden Slipper, Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup.

Sydney jockeys Peter Robl and Blake Shinn were found guilty of betting offences in 2010 and were disqualified for 12 months and 15 months respectively.

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