DEVASTATED Wodonga trainer Brian Cox plans to fight a three-and-half-year disqualification imposed on Tuesday by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board.
Cox, 63, plans to lodge an appeal with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Unless VCAT grants him a stay of proceedings subject to his appeal being heard, he must clear his stables of the 25 horses he has in work by midnight on Tuesday.
Cox said he was finished with racing if he failed with his appeal and would not bother to reapply for a licence when eligible in May 2020.
In one of racing’s most controversial cases, Cox was found guilty of several charges after a stewards’ raid on his stables on March 10.
Trainer Brian Cox will appeal against his 3½ year ban. Picture: Ian Currie
The board disqualified Cox for three years on four charges of administration of a banned substance, 12 months on a charge of possession of a banned substance, six months on two charges of improper conduct for manhandling stewards and three months for providing false and misleading information.
Several of the bans will be served concurrently, meaning the board, comprising chairman Judge John Bowman, Darren McGee and Shaun Ryan, imposed a total penalty of three years and six months.
And veterinarian Dr Robert Fielding, 66, who provided Cox with the banned short-acting anabolic steroid, Nitrotain, was told by the board he had narrowly avoided being warned off as it would have damaged his “fine reputation”. He was fined $20,000.
The board said the manhandling charges were serious and related to physical contact with stewards Dion Villella and Rhys Melville.
“There is no excuse for the way Mr Cox behaved towards them once it was apparent that they had found, or were about to find, the Nitrotain,” it said.
Asked last night if he regretted his clash with the stewards, Cox said: “Not regret, but the way I handled myself. They made me out to be an outlaw. I didn’t bash them. I am not a murderer. But I have three things wrong with me — anxiety, depression and rheumatoid arthritis.”