Sam Kavanagh says he got a life sentence

Banned Sydney trainer Sam Kavanagh maintains he got a life sentence for cobalt use that he did not deserve.

Kavanagh said his cobalt case had destroyed his career and he had been bullied on social media and in the media.

“It’s ruined my family. It’s ruined my friends,” Kavanagh told a Victorian inquiry on Wednesday.

“Right now I’ve got a life sentence and I don’t believe I deserve one and it’s destroyed me and my family.”

Kavanagh was outed for nine years and three months for offences relating to cobalt and race day treatments, but that was reduced by three years on appeal.

Kavanagh is giving evidence at his father Mark Kavanagh and fellow Flemington trainer Danny O’Brien’s appeal against their cobalt disqualifications.

Both Kavanaghs and O’Brien had used a substance called vitamin complex in drips given to horses that returned cobalt positives.

The vitamin complex came from Flemington Equine Clinic vet Dr Tom Brennan, who maintains none of them knew it contained cobalt.

Sam Kavanagh said he did not believe Brennan, a close friend, gave them cobalt on purpose.

“I just couldn’t see that he would do that to me on purpose,” Kavanagh told the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

“The only thing I can believe is he’s made an absolutely monumental error in judgment, just like we did.”


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