03/05/2013 2:10PM

Zito baffled by clenbuterol positive

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Nick Zito, the New York-based trainer who on Monday accepted a 15-day suspension for a positive test for clenbuterol in one of his horses, said Tuesday that he was unable to explain how the positive arose and that it may have been a mix-up at his barn.

Zito said that he was in Florida on Feb. 24, 2012, when a horse he trained, Alvito, won the fifth race at Aqueduct and subsequently tested positive for clenbuterol, a bronchial dilator. His longtime assistant, Ricardo Troncozo, told him that the horse had not been treated with the drug, although another horse in the barn was given the medication earlier that week.

“Ricardo swore up and down that he has no idea how that occurred,” Zito said. “Under the rules, I’m the absolute insurer, and so I thought it was best to accept it.”

Zito was last suspended for a positive test in 2003, when he accepted a 10-day suspension for a positive for lidocaine, a local anesthetic. The horse tested positive in 2001, but Zito spent two years trying to get the result thrown out.

“We’ve operated our whole lives the right way,” Zito said. “We’re proud of what we do. And we are fans of the rules. The rules protect me.”

Zito said that in the Alvito case, his lawyers subjected the split of the horse’s postrace samples to a variety of tests in order to determine if the initial finding was correct. As a result of the time it took to conduct the testing, Zito said, it took more than a year for him to decide to accept the penalty.

Jaime Meadows More than 1 year ago
My mare is in clenbuterol for heaves. We just squirt it on her food as a top dressing and she gobbles it up. It would be so easy to dose a horse's food. It is clear and has little odor so its presence would not be obvious.
Nick Kenyon More than 1 year ago
i my self have always liked zito but now not so much i thing i could except it better if he just manned up to it looks like your psnts are on FIRE nick theres no scence trying to act as if you did not know and to try to blame someone else is notthe way to do it are you in need of a fire extinguisher mr nick zito i hope you feel for the people who lost money for your little prank maybe you should pay the would have winners. you know everyone doesnt bet just 2.00 and what about the guy who lost his rent money or worse!
Justin More than 1 year ago
Zito got caught .. plain and simple. I don't believe for one second he didn't know what was happening in his barn and that it must have been a mistake. All in all though his record is excellent with regards to these illegal medications.
steve milgats More than 1 year ago
Spend a day in the barn. Watch all the moving parts. It's no wonder mistakes can happen. Lighten up on Nick.....
Michelle Diehl More than 1 year ago
I agree with you. Seems perfectly legit especially considering there was another horse in the barn taking this medication.
mike g More than 1 year ago
zito is a class act--he is one you can believe if he said he had no idea how it happened
ben More than 1 year ago
After the race does not help the bettors... either does a 15 day suspension. Just slp him on the wrist next time and shake your finger at them and say no no no , Same results
Mark More than 1 year ago
Love nick. But baffling may best describe his white hot start to the gulfstream meet.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Nick Zito is nothing but a class act !
Carl Napolitana More than 1 year ago
Those of you convicting Nick Zito don't know what your talking about!!!!!! Your concept of honesty and hate is alittle scary
Bellwether4U More than 1 year ago
They don't administer a Horse BUTE with a spike...Its given by mouth/oral...ty...
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
It's not surprising to me that Zito has resorted to the needle to try to get back to the lime light which he has been missing from for several yrs., he needs to man up that he got caught and quit using his hired help as his escape goat, they only do what they are directed to do and get paid to do. Try training again and just maybe you can get back to where you once were.
robert More than 1 year ago
clenbutarol is given by a little syringe not a needle
robert More than 1 year ago
its a syrup given by a small dose syringe
Rick Baldwin More than 1 year ago
Doping is only good for collecting a bet,long term use would be detected before his record improved.