Racing Victoria has strongly defended their decision to allow Damien Oliver to continue riding after he admitted placing a $10,000 bet on a rival horse.

Oliver received a 10-month ban on Tuesday for backing Miss Octopussy at Moonee Valley on October 1, 2010, in a race where he rode unplaced Europa Point.

Racing Victoria's process has come under scrutiny from various media outlets, with many believing that the champion jockey should have been stood down from riding until the completion of the investigation.

But Racing Victoria chairman Michael Duffy defended the process and said all the correct procedures had been followed.

"On 16 October 2012, the Committee contacted Mr Oliver to make an appointment to conduct an interview," Duffy said via a statement.

"Initially, Mr Oliver was reluctant to be interviewed by the Investigative Committee having regard to his legal right to silence.

"Notwithstanding that initial position, on 22 October 2012, Mr Oliver's legal representatives contacted the Committee to commence a series of 'without prejudice' discussions.

"As these discussions were held on a without prejudice basis, the Committee was obliged to maintain the confidentiality of those discussions and not to disclose their content.

"Throughout the ensuing weeks of the without prejudice discussions between Mr Oliver's legal representatives and the Committee, the investigation gathered evidence and gave careful consideration as to whether immediate action should or could be taken against Mr Oliver (including standing him down) prior to the laying of formal charges.

"The Committee formed the view that its best prospects of securing a certain conviction was to obtain an admission of guilt from Mr Oliver.

"Accordingly, the option of standing Mr Oliver down prior to the laying of charges was not pursued by the Committee on the basis that this would have most likely jeopardised an admission being obtained which would be admissible in any Stewards Inquiry."

Racing Victoria revealed it did receive an admission of guilt from Oliver on November 12 and set about working out his penalty.

Oliver received a 10-month ban in total, with a penalty of eight months disqualification plus a further two-month suspension of his licence to ride in races being handed down to the 40-year-old.

Racing Victoria said the penalty was in line with what other jockeys had received for similar misdemeanours previously.

Duffy used the precedent of Blake Shinn after he was disqualified for a total of 12 months for betting on a rival horse in a race in 2010.


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