On Wednesday 6 October 2021, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an Inquiry into a report received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that triamcinolone acetonide had been detected in the blood sample taken from ACCELERE NZ prior to it running in race 6, the AGNES BANKS EQUINE CLINIC PACE (1609 metres) conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday 9 March 2021.
The “B” sample was confirmed by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria.
Mr Pizzuto appeared at the Inquiry and presented evidence in relation to his registered training establishment, the horse ACCELERE NZ and a veterinary procedure performed upon ACCELERE NZ on 27 February 2021. Evidence including the Reports of Analysis and expert evidence from HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr Martin Wainscott was also presented.
Mr Pizzuto was found guilty of a charge issued by HRNSW Stewards pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting ACCELERE NZ to race not free of a prohibited substance.
In consideration of an appropriate penalty, HRNSW Stewards were mindful of the HRNSW Penalty Guidelines in respect of Class 3 Prohibited Substances as follows:
In circumstances where a Trainer has committed their first presentation offence for which a penalty is to be issued by Stewards and it relates to a Class 3 Prohibited Substance, a fine might be considered where each of the following requirements have been satisfied by the Trainer:
As a result, HRNSW Stewards were satisfied that Mr Pizzuto had complied with each of the above requirements and a fine of $5000 ($2000 suspended for a period of 2 years) was imposed.
In consideration of an appropriate penalty, HRNSW Stewards were also mindful of the following;
Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, ACCELERE NZ was disqualified from the abovementioned race.
Mr Pizzuto was informed of his right to appeal these decisions of HRNSW Stewards.