The Australian Racing Board (ARB) has announced a new Australian Rule of Racing to empower stewards to stand down a licensed person following the laying of a charge for a breach of the Rules of Racing or for an indictable criminal offence.
The new rule applies where a person has been charged and where the Stewards consider that the person’s continued participation in racing might pose an unacceptable risk to or prejudice the image, interests or integrity of racing.
“The ARB is mindful of the potential loss of livelihood and reputational damage to a person stood down and has introduced sufficient constraints on the power of stewards to temporarily suspend a person by instituting a two-stage process. Only a person charged by stewards or the police can be stood down and only if their continued participation poses a threat to the interests or welfare of racing.” ARB Chief Executive Peter McGauran said.
“However, the rights of participants must be balanced against the need on occasions to take interim action to protect racing. The requirement to stand down a person post-charge will ensure that the stewards have collected, analysed and assessed relevant evidence and decided that there is sufficient evidence to support a charge of a rule breach. Similarly, police will lay charges only after having determined that there is a reasonable prospect of conviction for the crime with which the person has been charged.” he said.
“The rule ensures that the decision to stand down a person is reasonably based and supported by evidence sufficient to justify that decision.” Mr McGauran concluded.
The new Australian Rule of Racing 8(z) will commence from 1 October, 2013.