The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board handed out some of the harshest penalties ever issued in Australian racing history when the eight employees of Aquanita were sentenced on Thursday.
Robert Smerdon and his long-time assistant and stable employee Greg Nelligan were given life bans.
Stuart Webb was given a four-year ban while Tony Vasil received a three-year ban from the sport. Another trainer, Trent Pennuto, was handed a disqualification of two years.
Denise Nelligan, who alerted stewards to the contents of the pre-race treatments and is the wife of Greg Nelligan, was also given a life ban. Float driver Danny Garland received a one-year ban.
Queensland trainer Liam Birchley, the only one of the eight to appear during the hearing, was handed a one-year disqualification.
Just two days earlier in the Melbourne County Court, Judge John Bowman had been damning in his description of the group’s behaviour over the last eight years.
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