Procaine not a drug, just a painkiller: Bangalore Turf Club

The permissible threshold of procaine is 10 nanograms and the administration of procaine penicillin is legitimate.

Bengaluru: A day after the Bangalore Turf Club CEO and four others were accused of covering up a dope test by a horse owner, the Karnataka Race Horse Owners' Association (KRHOA) and Karnataka Trainers' Association (KTA) strongly defended the move, saying that the amount of procaine traced in Queen Latifa’s urine was well within the threshold adhered to by international standards. The two bodies have also hit out at H. S. Chandregowda - a member of the managing committee of KRHOA and also the owner of 'Youre Stunning', a horse that tested positive in a dope test in 2012 - saying that enmity among two groups within the committee had led Mr. Chandregowda to indulge in a 'disinformation campaign' against the BTC.

Chandregowda had filed a complaint with the High Grounds Police on Wednesday, accusing the CEO of BTC, Mr. S. Nirmal Prasad, Chief Stipendiary Officer (CSO) Pradyumna Singh, Steward Vivek Ubaykar, Stable Trainer Neil Darashah and well known breeder/owner and punter Arjun Sajnani of "covering up the dope results".

Terming the complaint a "sinister design" and an act to settle "personal scores", both the associations have said that there was a desperate attempt to portray the administration of the antibiotic, procaine penicillin, that was used to treat an abcess on the horse at the Club's Veterinary Hospital, as an act that was meant to influence the conduct of racing.

"The detection of procaine to an extent of 1.22 nanograms per ml of a urine sample in Queen Latifa is technically negligible and is far below the reporting levels accepted internationally. The permissible threshold of procaine is 10 nanograms and the administration of procaine penicillin is legitimate and is excreted through the horse's urine for long periods, at a very low concentration," Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. H S Mahesha told Deccan Chronicle.

Maintaining that there was "total transparency" while dealing with the issue, a BTC official said that there was no unnecessary delay in the opening of the dope report sent by National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) as claimed by the complainant.

"Post winning the Karnataka Race Horse Owners Association Million Cup in The Invitation Cup on March 5, urine samples of Queen Latifa were sent to the NDTL in New Delhi. We received a report on March 23 stating the detection of a local anesthetic: Procaine. As the horse was treated at the club's hospital, the doctors sought to know the quantification of the dose. We got the reply from the NDTL on April 4, after 10 days of requisition, stating the amount of procaine detected to be 1.22 nanogram, following which the sealed report was opened during a meeting on April 7 and inventory of drug and inspection of stable was carried out," the official explained.

As the investigations on the doping results of Queen Latifa as well as Rafa, trained by S Domnick over procaine levels, and another horse Kvasir (trained by G Sandhu) whose urine showed Oxyphenbutazone, were still in the preliminary stages and there was time until April 30 to submit samples for a confirmatory report, Chandre Gowda's campaign is "a collusive attempt to gloss over and delay the proceedings", the officials alleged.

While Queen Latifa, trained by Mr. Neil Darashah, was administered procaine at the club's hospital, the source of procaine detected in Rafa and the source of Oxyphenbutazone detected in Kvasir is yet to be ascertained. While procaine is an anesthetic that is administered along with antibiotics injections to relieve pain in a horse, Oxyphenbutazone is a steroid which is a prohibited drug and could result in suspension for one month, a BTC official explained.

NDTL apologised for delayed response
BTC which has received the doping test results on March 23, requested for the quantification of the dosage on March 25, prior to publishing the result. The response from NDTL, however, came after 10 days with an apology, stating the quantification to be 1.22 ng/ml.

Chandregowda's horse disqualified in 2012
In December 2012, Chandregowda's horse 'You're Stunning' was privately administered a steroid, which warranted disqualification of the horse and punishment of the trainer concerned.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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