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QUEEN LATIFA COMES CLEAN IN THE SECOND DRUG TEST
BANGALORE
By Ikram Khan
Sunday 07 May 2017
Ikram Khan

After all the hype and hoopla surrounding the doping cover up charge which hogged the headlines resulting in the government ordering a CID probe into the doping and a couple of betting and tax evasion issues, the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) provided clarity disclosing that all the charges made against the Club were baseless in a `meet the press’ session on Sunday.

The new BTC chairman Y Jagannath revealed that all the charges framed in the alleged Queen Latifa doping case were baseless and that the second sample sent to Quanti Lab in Mauritius came clean, the lab certifying that the urine sample sent to them was free of any prohibited substance.

When posed with the question why BTC chose to send this sample to a Mauritius lab for the first time, the chairman confirmed that it is one of the listed reference laboratories of the Club.

“Veterinary protocols in BTC are on par with international standards, both in respect of medication and testing for banned drugs under medication rules, said Jagannath.

It may be recalled that a committee member of Karnataka Racehorse Owners’ Association (KROA), Chandre Gowda had filed a complaint against the club pointing out that despite a report from the National Drug Testing Laboratory (NDTL) in New Delhi confirming that Queen Latifa tested positive no announcement and action was initiated and no mandatory and listed procedures were followed in a bid to cover up while the club had initiated quick action against  trainer Dominic, sealing and searching his stables’  after his horse Rafa tested positive for the same drug Procaine Pencillin.

BTC deputy chief Veterinary officer Mahesh pointed out that the delay was not intentional and that there was no conspiracy. “The threshold levels were not observed at NDTL.  1.2 nanograms of Procaine Pencillin was detected in Queen Latifa case and since the established threshold for this drug is 10 nanograms, we needed go get the quantification done to send the B sample. Queen Latifa was injected with the antibiotic to treat for abscess at the BTC hospital and the treatment was logged following the medicinal procedure while in the case of Rafa, the horse was provided medicine by a private vet and the treatment was not logged,” clarified Mahesh.

BTC steward Ajith Saldhana rubbishing the dope cover-up charge said: “ The charge that big betting was done and big money was made is totally not acceptable and baseless considering the fact that betting at BTC is done on tote and the club has shunted out bookmakers despite the fact that the club generated good revenue from bookmakers. “The idea was to make the game clean never mind losing out on the income generated,” said Saldhana.

Meanwhile Neil Darashah, trainer of Queen Latifa, who was needlessly painted black in this case for no fault of his confirmed that he now will be able to sleep peacefully. “ I told you that the truth will come out in a few days and now that it is established negative, it is a big relief,” said Neil, the smile back on his face.

One of the leading trainers at this centre, Neil made no secret of his opinion that Queen Latifa is a talented filly who will prove her mettle in the summer season. “She injured herself in the stable in Ooty and that’s the reason why she did not compete in the 1000 Guineas at the Blue Mountains. She is a goodtype and she will do well this summer,” said Neil.

After all the clarifications Jagannath made it clear that the summer season will start on schedule, Saturday, May 13 and the effort is on to make the summer a season to remember,

“The track is lush green and the pros are all raring to go,” said Jagannath adding that the thunder of hooves will provide a lyrical ring rather than the ominous tone,” this summer.