Damien Oliver
Damien Oliver

Champion jockey Damien Oliver was banned from racing for 10 months after admitting putting money on a rival horse that won a race in which he was riding.

The Australian two-time Melbourne Cup winner was suspended for eight months over the betting scandal and was slapped with another two month ban for using a mobile phone in the jockeys' room prior to the race, which is prohibited.

"I want to apologise to the racing industry. I'm deeply sorry for my actions," Oliver said in a brief statement after the Racing Victoria hearing.

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

An emotional Oliver read from a statement in a trembling voice during the hearing as he told stewards that at the time of the offence in 2010 he was going through serious personal problems and described it as the "worst period of my life".

"I felt despondent and had lost my belief in my ability as a jockey," Oliver said.

He said he had problems with alcohol and had resorted to binge drinking at that time when his wife had left him and taken their three children with her.

"It was a highly stressful time. I feared I would lose my marriage.

"It was the only time I had ever placed a bet on a rival horse.

"I didn’t consult any other jockey or trainer."


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