Champion Gold Coast Trainer Banned Over EPO Charges

Ben H 27 December 2023Last Updated: 27 December 2023

Les Kelly, the champion Gold Coast trainer, who has won 3 of the past 5 Gold Coast training premierships, has seen his stay of proceedings ended by the Racing NSW Appeals Panel. That means he will have to serve his ban resulting from EPO allegations, while his horses will be moved to other trainers.

Kelly Won’t Be Able to Race until March 2025

Two of Kelly’s horses, Gogol and Freddie Fox Trot, tested positive for the illegal substance EPO in 2022, but the trainer was allowed to continue working under a stay during his appeal. He even had 13 winners from the 74 runners he fielded, despite NSW stewards not accepting Kelly’s nominations.

It is reported that Kelly tried to extend the stay period with a second appeal. However, the Racing NSW Appeals Panel rejected it, leaving him with no other options but to start serving his ban.

Originally, the champion Gold Coast trainer was given two 15-month bans, but the appeals panel allowed him to serve some of that time concurrently, deciding to hand an 18-month penalty to the decorated trainer.

However, those sentences were shortened even further, as it was later decided that both penalties could be served totally concurrently, so Kelly will only be out of racing for 15 months, from December 22 2023 until 22 March 2025.

Immediately after the ban became effective, horse floats were started to be seen at Kelly’s stables and horses were relocated to other Gold Coast trainers. Group 1 Queensland Oaks runner was moved to Gary Doughty’s stables, while other horses were sent to different trainers.

Ben H
Ben Harris is the Communications Manager for KRUZEY, an AFL and NRL expert, and writer. He has one daughter that he loves dearly and five... [Read full bio]

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