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Weir won’t fight charges, faces 4-year ban

Darren Weir seen at the hearing
Trainer Darren Weir faces a four-year ban after he said he would not contest charges over jiggers.

Champion horse trainer Darren Weir, who is facing a four-year suspension, will not contest charges over banned electronic devices known as jiggers that were found in his stables.

His assistant, licensed trainer Jarrod McLean, will fight a charge of possessing a jigger and will be allowed to train until the outcome of a Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board hearing is held.

Both trainers spent around 11 hours in a closed show cause hearing conducted by Racing Victoria stewards, which concluded early on Tuesday morning.

Stewards, who told Weir they would be seeking to disqualify him for four years, said they would ask the RAD Board to hear the case against him as soon as possible.

RV said until the RAD Board hearing, which could be this week, Weir won’t be allowed to enter or race any horses as a trainer or owner.

Stewards have also placed significant conditions on McLean until his case is heard, including not being allowed to take any horses that were trained by Weir before January 30.

The jiggers were found when stewards and officers from Victoria Police’s sports integrity unit raided Weir’s stables at Ballarat and Warrnambool on Wednesday last week and arrested the pair.

They were also charged with failing to answer questions at the opening of a Racing Victoria stewards inquiry on Thursday.

Stewards opened the show cause hearing on Friday and withdrew all Weir’s and McLean’s horses from race meetings over the weekend.

Legal representatives from RV and the two trainers worked on reaching an agreement throughout Monday after Weir and McLean arrived at RV headquarters shortly before 2pm.

The final settlement was reached after 1am on Tuesday.

The pair left through a side exit of the RV building without speaking to the media.

Authorities will not pursue charges against stable employee Tyson Kermond, who was also charged last week for failing to give evidence.

RV head of integrity Jamie Stier said it was a complex matter with stewards determined to give due consideration to the submissions made along with ongoing investigations.

“Darren Weir is facing serious charges of possessing three electrical apparatus and conduct prejudicial to the interests or image of racing,” Mr Stier said.

“He has advised the stewards that he will not contest those charges which have drawn considerable negative publicity to the sport.”

A five-time Melbourne premiership winner, Weir gained international fame as the trainer of 2015 Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance.

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