Irymple trainer-driver Boris Devcic has been fined $6000 for his involvement in a positive swap at Mildura last November.

The fine followed a Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board hearing into a positive caffeine swab from the winning pacer Noble Julius at the Mildura harness meeting on November 23 last year.

Devcic was charged under Australian Harness Rule 190 (1) which says “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.”

Mr Devcic pleaded guilty to the charge before submissions on penalty were heard from HRV Stewards and Mr Devcic.

Further evidence was also heard from Scientific Manager Mr Paul Zahra.

 In deciding an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered Mr Devcic’s guilty plea and co-operation throughout the investigation, Mr Devcic’s record in regard to prohibited substance matters where a previous offence was some 17 years prior, both general and specific deterrence, consistency of penalty and the absolute liability nature of the offence.

 Mr Devcic was subsequently fined $6000 and the  Board also ordered that ‘Noble Julius’ be disqualified from Race seven  at Mildura on November 23, 2016 and that the finishing places be amended accordingly.

Also on Wednesday the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) set aside a HRV Racing and Disciplinary Board 12 month disqualification imposed on former top reinsman Daryl Douglas back on February 13.

Mr Douglas had been disqualified for breaches of the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR).

On a routine visit two HRV stewards found Mr Douglas driving un-named pacers on the registered training establishment of Emma Stewart on last November.

Mr Douglas had entered a plea of not guilty to the charges.

After initially determining that Mr Douglas did not come within the scope of the rules, the HRV RAD Board amended their decision and imposed the penalty of a 12-month disqualification.

At the VCAT hearing, before full time Member Ms Elisabeth Wentworth ruled that she was satisfied that Mr Douglas’ activities brought him within the scope of the AHRR and further determined that two of the four charges could be proven, in that Mr Douglas did fail to comply with a direction and was carrying on an activity regulated by licence when not the holder of a current licence.

In making a decision on penalty, Ms Wentworth considered that the offending of Mr Douglas was at the lower-end of the scale and set aside the decision of the HRV RAD Board, substituting a caution in its place.