The stewards of the Royal Western Indian Turf Club (RWITC) Ltd, in a meeting held at the Mahalamxi racecourse yesterday, handed a nine-month suspension to champion trainer Pesi Shroff for his filly Bullseye testing positive for boldenone, a banned anaebolic steroid. The suspension will take effect from March 29.
Trainer Pesi Shroff
Bullseye had returned positive for the banned drug when tested at the race club premises after her return from the Nanoli stud farm on December 6 last year. Pesi Shroff, along with the filly's part owner KN Dhunjibhoy who owns the Nanoli farm, had alleged criminal conspiracy, and Shroff had filed a case against “unknown enemies” which is under investigation by the Mumbai crime branch.
In a recent development, after Shroff met former minister and animal rights activist Ms Maneka Gandhi, the stewards of the RWITC were asked by her to keep the hearing on hold until the Animal Welfare Board chairman Maj Gen Kharb would conduct and finish their own inquiry in the matter.
The stewards, however, had gone ahead with the procedure, and the hearing was concluded on Wednesday, with the verdict reserved for yesterday. The nine month suspension, if not challenged in court by Shroff, would mean he will miss the entire summer campaign, including the Pune season of 2014, including a vital part of the start of the next Mumbai season.