Damien Oliver Suspended From Racing for 10 Months on Illegal Bet
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | November 20, 2012 2:20 PM EST
After pleading guilty to earlier allegations on illegal betting on rival horses two years, Australian champion jockey Damien Oliver has finally received his verdict that suspends him from participating in any racing contests for 10 months.
The 40-year-old, two-time Melbourne Cup winner claimed he got tempted and eventually made the "single, isolated lapse of judgment" two years ago due to psychological stress, injury and the imminent breakdown of his marriage.
Mr Oliver received an eight-month suspension over the betting scandal and another two months for using a mobile phone in the jockeys' room prior to the race, which is prohibited.
In the course of his suspension, he is barred to be seen from racetracks and stables.
"People must not assume that my misdeed and lack of judgment ... reflects on jockeys or the industry broadly," Mr Oliver said in a statement as he apologised to trainers, owners and supporters.
"I ask my fellow jockeys for whom I have the greatest respect to forgive my actions."
Mr Oliver pleaded guilty to placing a $10,000 bet on Miss Octopussy on October 1, 2010 in a race at Moonee Valley. That time, he rode Europa Point.
"It was the only time I had ever placed a bet on a rival horse. I didn't consult any other jockey or trainer," he said.
Miss Octopussy eventually won the race. Europa Point finished sixth. Mr Oliver ultimately received $11,000 from form analyst Mark Hunter with Miss Octopussy's winnings.
''The period around 2010-11 was probably the worst period in my life,'' he said.
''My wife and I have three children and there was a period when she moved to her parents with the children. I feared I would lose my marriage. I felt very depressed about the personal problems I was feeling at the time.''
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