Wednesday, March 07, 2012

New twist to Boldenone controversy

FDA vindicates trainer Shorff's stand

IN A development that may turn the ill-famed 'boldenone' case on its head, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Maharashtra unit, yesterday ruled that the horse feed supplied by the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) to trainers tested positive for banned drug boldenone. Administration of boldenone, a steroid, is considered a very serious offence, and three trainers--Pesi Shroff, Cooji Katrak & S K Sunderji--whose horses had tested positive in January last year for the same, were suspended for various periods.

The FDA thus vindicated the stand taken by champion trainer Pesi Shroff who had all along maintained that the feed, manufactured by a German manufacturer, which he had procured through the club, was the actual source of boldenone contamination, and challenged his one-month suspension in a court of law. "Yes, I have received a communication from the FDA saying the feed samples they collected have tested positive for boldenone," Shroff said when contacted by MiD DAY, "however, the matter is sub-judice, so I do not wish to make any comment."

However, horse owner Vijay Shirke, for whom Shroff trained Eloise who was involved in the boldenone controversy, told MiD DAY he was not surprised by the FDA findings. "My trainer had tested the feed, submitted the report to the stewards," he said, "in all fairness, they should have at least tried to verify his claim independently. If this (FDA's finding) is true, the least that the club can do now is to expunge the stigma from the trainer's record and annul the punishment."

"I have not yet been informed about this development," Vivek Jain, chairman of the club, told MiD DAY, "but if true, since there is a legal overtone to this case, we will seek advice from our counsel as to what course of action the club should pursue."


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