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By Kanthraj Urs
Friday 21 Apr 2017

Chaduranga Kanthraj Urs is a former Chairman of Mysore Race Club & currently a Member of the Managing Committee of Bangalore Turf Club and a prominent racehorse owner has issued to the following statement.

I am extremely distressed that my name has been dragged totally out of context by the Chairman of Bangalore Turf Club Harinder Shetty which has been quoted in your newspaper. The issue he was supposedly talking about was the presence of 1.22 nanogram of procaine in the urine sample of racehorse QUEEN LATIFA from the analytical lab from Delhi. The screening limit of detection of this drug internationally is 10 nanograms. Therefore, it is erroneously called a positive. This is integral part of a penicillin injection to reduce pain associated with its injection. It is a routine and commonly used antibiotic and very effective against wide range of bacteria. I would have been happy if the statement of Shetty was confined to clarifying the same. By dragging my name just to say that I was aggressive at a meeting of the Managing Committee of the Club for preventing misuse of club’s resources by the Chairman should be scope for judicial inquiry by the government is laughable and lowers the dignity of the person making the statement.

All the Managing Committee Members of the club have passed a no-confidence motion against Chairman Harinder Shetty for his acts of omission. His actions in trying to push through proposals without following standard operating procedures have been questioned by the Committee Members. His actions smack of arbitrariness and an attempt to derive personal benefit from the deals. Mention may be made of the solar lighting contract, security cameras for the club, employing people through agencies of which he supposedly has an interest and his various dealings with the totalisator operators have come in for critical scrutiny and got the disapproval of the entire Managing Committee. He is due to be removed as Chairman of the club on Sunday, April 23. His statements in Bangalore Mirror is a last-ditch effort to save his skin by trying to get sympathy from the government by attempting to paint himself as an angel while making baseless accusations against others. Shetty will go down as the worse occupant of the chair and his acts have brought disrepute to the institution.

The drug is a therapeutic one used for treating acute bacterial infections and the procaine has the qualities of alleviating the pain that the horse suffers. The medication is a legal one for treating horses in distress just like humans receive treatment at hospitals for various ailments. There was no attempt to hide the matter. The standard procedure is for the split sample to be sent for confirmation to another reputed international lab either Hong Kong, France or England before any action is initiated. This is as laid down in the rules. Internationally, there is a screening limit of detection level of 10 nanograms for any horse to be declared positive for the presence of the drug. The said horse showed only 1.2 nanograms.  Shobha Ahi who is the scientist with the Delhi lab has in a letter to Chairman of Indian Veterinary Commission of Turf Authorities of India S.M. Karthikeyan that the ``lab would implement the in-house screening limit for procaine as 10ng/ml in urine and 1 ng/mil in plasma for reporting of results”.

Regarding the second point that there was a delay in announcing the result because the Chief Veterinary Officer wanted to ascertain the quantification from the lab because internationally no lab will accept to check the second sample unless the quantification is done. And there was no attempt to hide or suppress the fact. The matter has been grossly exaggerated in your report which brings the sport into big disrepute giving the impression that there was a conspiracy.

And incidentally, the complaint given by Chandre Gowda names only Arjun Sajnani when five people own the horse. This itself shows that there is a conspiracy to defame reputed people. There are six Stewards including the Chairman and Ubhaykar is no way connected with the horse except that it belongs to his partner in a restaurant. The complaint has been a motivated one instigated by vested interests in the club to settle personal scores since the present Chairman is going to be removed and there is a possibility of Ubhaykar becoming the Chairman.

It is strange that Harinder Shetty is talking about a conspiracy to hide the result when he himself is the Chairman of the club and nothing moves without him being party to every decision. This itself explains the motivation behind the statements made by Shetty to save his skin. In fact, if any conspiracy to hide the matter is to be leveled against the club, the main person to be held accountable is the Chairman himself. He cannot level charges when he should be issuing clarifications and not try to wash dirty linen in public. The Chairman has failed the club and brought disrepute to the institution for which itself he deserves to be removed. Further action is left to the Members to take.

Kanthraj Urs

Managing Committee of the Bangalore Turf Club Ltd