The crime branch of the Mumbai police, which was investigating the Bullseye doping case since January last year, filed a closure report last week, confirmed chief investigating officer of the case, Ajay Sawant.
Bullseye, a filly, had tested positive for banned drug boldenone when she returned from her owner’s stud farm to trainer Pesi Shroff’s stable at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse on December 6, 2013.
Shroff alleged conspiracy and filed a criminal complaint against unknown perpetrators a month later. The case was later transferred to crime branch and four farm hands, one a former employee named Umedh Singh, were arrested and later released on bail.
The case took a sensational turn when Deepak Popat, a former assistant trainer, who had procured anticipatory bail fearing arrest, later revealed that trainer Cooji Katrak, Shroff’s rival, had asked him to 'fix' trainer Shroff and horse owner KN Dhunjibhoy, with the help of Umedh Singh.
Then, on the eve of the RWITC committee elections in December last year, an audio tape, of an alleged conversation between Popat and Katrak, surfaced under mysterious circumstances. In view of these sensational developments, the closure report comes as a surprise as it means the Bullseye doping controversy will now get a quiet burial.
When asked to explain, IO Ajay Sawant told mid-day: “A closure report simply means that an offence has taken place, but the evidence uncovered during investigation is not sufficient to frame charges against any of the suspects.”