Zito has now spoken out to the Daily Racing Form. He cannot explain how the test results came up with a positive on Alvito, indicating a possible mix-up somehow occurred at his own barn.
According to Zito, while he was in Florida at race meets on February 24, 2012, Alvito won the fifth race at the Aqueduct track, subsequently testing positive for the bronchial dilator clenbuterol. His assistant Ricardo Troncozo stated that Alvito had not been treated with the medication. Instead, said Troncozo, another horse had been medicated with clenbuterol several days earlier that week.
Zito said, “Ricardo swore up and down that he has no idea how that occurred. Under the rules, I’m the absolute insurer, and so I thought it was best to accept it.”
“We’ve operated our whole lives the right way. We’re proud of what we do. And we are fans of the rules. The rules protect me,” stated Zito.
Per Zito, his lawyers initiated Alvito’s post-race samples to a variety of tests for the specific intention of double checking the initial findings.
As a result of the time it took to conduct the testing, per Zito, it took more than a year to decide to accept the penalty.
In 2003 Zito was suspended for a positive test for lidocaine, a local anesthetic [in 2001]. He accepted a 10-day suspension. For two years Zito sought to get the test result thrown out.
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